Tamil Nadu Premier League (TNPL) franchise Thiruvallur Veerans have officially announced the appointment of Muttiah Muralitharan and Bharat Arun as mentor and coach respectively. At an event in Chennai on Saturday, former Sri Lankan great recalled the fond memories of being associated with the city of Chennai after being picked for IPL side Chennai Super Kings (CSK).
“VB (Chandrasekhar) [owner of Veerans] was the one who picked me to play for CSK (Chennai Super Kings) in the first season of the Indian Premier League (IPL) and my heart lies in Tamil Nadu because my ancestors are from here. I am privileged to be a part of India Cements Ltd. TNPL and thankful to VB for allowing me to mentor the Veerans. India Cements Ltd. TNPL is an opportunity for me to give back something to Tamil Nadu cricket. I look forward to working with the boys. VB always picks a young team to mould them into future stars and I hope I can add my inputs as the mentor,” he said.
Arun also praised Muralitharan and his involvement with the league and the team. “It is heartening to know that Murali will be mentoring the VB team and he will be sharing the dressing room with young players. It would be an honour to listen to him as he shares his invaluable experiences with the boys. He will also motivate them and bring the best out of them.”
P.S. Raman, Chairman of the Governing Council of the TNPL provided more information on the league. He said that the the matches will be played in Chennai, Dindigul and Tirunelveli while roping in Coimbatore didn’t work out. “We wanted to have another ground in Coimbatore as well, but it could not be readied on time. Hopefully, we will have more grounds by next year,” he added.
He also shed light on the issue of players not being released by BCCI to participate in the TNPL amid confusion over outstation players. “We had a debate with the BCCI regarding the outstation players. They have taken a stand which is debatable and I will leave it at that. But primarily TNPL was conceived as a tournament to promote local Tamil Nadu stars and the motive will remain that. Last year, many players from TNPL made it to the IPL apart from being a part of the Tamil Nadu team that won two major BCCI tournaments,” he said. The crux of the matter lies in the definition of outstation players with the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association (TNCA) in association with TNPL looking to bring in the likes of Suresh Raina, Yusuf Pathan and Manoj Tiwary in the first draft.