Saturday, 29 Apr, 7.14 am Deccan Chronicle

TSPL: Schools league for kids in rural areas of Telangana

Hyderabad: Cricket Association of Telangana is conducting the Telangana Schools Premier League in an attempt to take the game to the rural areas of the state. In its endeavour, it has roped in Dilip Vengsarkar, former Indian cricket captain and chairman of BCCI's Talent Resource Development Wing. Announcing the launch on Thursday, the 61-year-old said "it was a great privilege to be associated with the massive project."

The tournament is a bit different. Players (Under 17) are to register themselves on following which 31 districts will be divided into 10 zones which will play matches at the initial stage. From this cluster, 120 players will be divided into eight teams that will comprise the premier level with the top four qualifying for the knockout semifinals followed by the final.

"Altogether, more than 500 matches will be played at the district level over five months," CAT founder Sunil Babu Kolanpaka said. Vengsarkar on his part said "talent-spotters apart, the grooming process is equally important. The next Virat Kohli could be from Telangana," drawing loud cheers. However, CAT is not affiliated to BCCI and it remains to be seen if there are any repercussions.