BS Chandrasekhar steals limelight at KPL trophy launch

Bangalore, August 14: Legendary Indian cricketer BS Chandrasekhar, India women’s cricketer Veda Krishnamurthy and sandalwood superstar Kichcha Sudeep unveiled the trophy for the eighth edition of the Redmi Karnataka Premier League powered by Dream XI in Bangalore on Tuesday (August 13).

Hon. President of the Karnataka State Cricket Association Mr Sanjay Desai, Hon. Secretary of KSCA Mr Sudhakar Rao and Official Spokesperson of KSCA Mr Vinay Mruthyunjaya were present on the dais along with members of the KPL governing council. 

Former Indian cricketer and legendary batsman GR Vishwanath was among several other dignitaries present at the launch, which was marked by a magic show from illusionist Aakarsh S Bhat.

Mr Sanjay Desai also took the chance to reaffirm KSCA's commitment to women’s cricket, announcing that three women’s teams will feature in six matches during the course of the KPL. The games will be held on August 18th, 19th, 20th, 22nd, 23rd and 24th. 

Shedding more light on the women’s games, Hon. Assistant Secretary Santhosh Menon said: ““Three franchises have agreed to sponsor the women’s teams. The three teams will play against each other twice in Bangalore. In Mysore, there will be one exhibition match like we usually have. The teams for the exhibition match will be picked from the pool of players from those three teams.”

Speaking about the KPL, Chandrasekhar said: “I am extremely happy to be here on this wonderful occasion of launching the trophy for the eighth edition. Not only have the organisers conducted this for seven years before this, but they have also done it successfully. I wish all the players the very best of luck. The KPL, I hope, will produce players not only for the IPL (Indian Premier League) but also for the national side.” 

Chandrasekhar was one of the integral parts of the world-renowned spin quartet from India in the 60s and 70s. Erapalli Prasanna, Srinivas Venkataraghavan and Bishen Singh Bedi were three others who complemented him. The feared quartet played in 231 Tests and picked up 853 wickets between them.

Chandrasekhar, for his part, featured in 58 Tests and picked up 242 wickets at an average of 29.74 and an economy of 2.70 over 15 years as a leg-spinner in top-flight cricket. Chandrasekhar has donned several roles for the KSCA over the years, and this season the 74-year-old from Mysore will oversee camps for underprivileged children in Hubli, Belgaum, Mysore and Shimogga as part of KSCA’s initiative to help the sport bloom at the grassroots level.

Sudeep took the chance to laud the KSCA for their commitment to exposing young talent in the state. “When we got the chance to play in the KPL (referring to the team of celebrities - Rockstars - who featured in the KPL for three seasons), we were grateful for the opportunity. We did not know that we would interact with such cricketers in our lives. Unknown cricketers have the chance to become big names because of the KPL. There isn’t a bigger platform in Karnataka.”    

KPL, which has been KSCA’s marquee T20 league since its inception in 2009, will start in Bangalore on August 16 and conclude with the grand finale on August 31 in Mysore. The Bangalore leg will conclude on August 23, followed by a rest/ travel day before the teams regroup in Mysore for the final leg.

Bangalore will host 15 games, while Mysore will witness 10 matches, including the playoffs. Hubli, which was supposed to host seven contests between August 22 and August 25, was declared a no-show as a venue due to inclement weather.

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