CHENNAI: Keeping in line with their aim of promoting rural cricket through the Tamil Nadu Premier League (TNPL), the fifth edition of the tournament will see matches conducted in Coimbatore and Salem for the first time. With Dindigul and Tirunelveli, there will be four venues this year.
Chennai will not host any match owing to the construction of a new pavilion at the MA Chidambaram Stadium. The work is expected to begin after the IPL. Tuti Patriots and Karaikudi Kaalai have been renamed as Salem Spartans and Tiruppur Tamizhans, respectively. With regard to the Tuti team, it is understood that there is a change in ownership, with two of the three co-owners leaving the franchise this season.
Stadia in Salem, Kovai confirmed
That the TNPL is keen to take game to rural centres is well known. In the last two editions, only six matches were conducted in Chennai, with other games allocated to Tirunelveli and Dindigul. While the ground at Sri Ramakrishna College of Arts and Science in Coimbatore was expected to host matches in the last edition itself, the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association wanted to conduct age-group tournaments there before staging a tournament like TNPL. In December, it was confirmed that Coimbatore will make its debut in TNPL. The Salem Cricket Foundation Stadium, which was inaugurated by Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami on February 10, was confirmed as the fourth venue on Tuesday. The ground near Vazhapadi in Salem was built at a cost of `3 cr.