Ravichandran Ashwin believes the 100th match of Sankar Cement Tamil Nadu Twenty20 Premier League is a great milestone for the league and he wished the 1000th game also happens soon.
“I’d definitely have liked to play a lot more matches than what I’ve played so far in TNPL. As I have always mentioned, the tournament is always close to my heart. The 100th match is a great milestone for the tournament and I really wish the 1000th game of the TNPL happens very soon and I in some way get to play a little part in it,” said the India Test off-spinner, who is also the captain of Dindigul Dragons, who played the 100th match of the league, against defending champions Siechem Madurai Patriots at the India Cements Limited Sankar Nagar ground, here on Monday.
Ashwin feels the TNPL has been instrumental in bringing players from the districts to the forefront. “The idea is to produce more cricketers at the grass-roots level. I think it’ll create a platform where there is more awareness in the districts of Tamil Nadu, where people can come out and watch the game, get inspired and play. At least they’ll get to know how to get into Tamil Nadu side. In that way, it has already reached the mark but I’m sure that the talent levels will also get better,” he added.
Former Tamil Nadu batsman and Siechem Madurai Panthers captain KB Arun Karthick felt the presence of international players like Ashwin and Murali Vijay has been a big boost for the league. “I feel really good to be playing this milestone game. It started three years back and for me personally, it has been a great journey to be part of all TNPL editions so far. The standard has only kept improving from the first year. Players like Ravi Ashwin and Murali Vijay come here to play the game and motivate youngsters so I think it’s great to be part of this league,” he said.
Chairman of the TNPL Governing Council PS Raman foresees a great future for the tournament. “It is truly heartening to learn that we complete a hundred matches of TNPL in the fourth season. Three seasons of successful cricket development has already taken place and I’m sure with this hundred we’ll be heading towards a greater future in unearthing more talent from districts. Already in the first few matches in the season we have seen some outstanding performances and I’m sure we’ve several more to see in the coming weeks,” he said.
TNCA Joint Secretary, RI Palani believes this milestone is another reminder of the progress the league has made year on year. “This is a momentous occasion not only for the league but also the TNCA. We have been able to generate tremendous enthusiasm in the districts for the league. It has resulted in franchises showing more interest in the district players. We can only get bigger and better,” he said.
A cake was cut by the DD and SMP captains to mark the 100th match with former India player VB Chandrasekhar, Chennai Super Kings CEO Kasi Viswanathan and S Shanmugham, Joint President (Manufacturing), Sankar Nagar Plant, India Cements Limited in attendance.