The next Indian Premier League (IPL) auction may be some time away, but Indian skipper M.S. Dhoni’s name will go under the hammer much sooner than that.
The Jharkhand State Cricket Association (JSCA) and Elite Sports Management (ESM) have planned an intra-state Twenty20 tournament, the Jharkhand Premier League (JPL), along the lines of IPL. And for that, they are planning to rope in Jharkhand’s 100 best cricketers, including, of course, Dhoni and Mumbai Indians’ star Saurabh Tiwary.
The event is slated for September in Dhanbad.
The JSCA is expecting big corporate houses to bid for the five franchises: Ranchi Ranchose, Jamshedpur Janbaz, Dhanbad Damdar, Bokaro Balwan and Singbhum Shers.
Both Sunil Singh, the secretary of Ranchi District Cricket Association (RDCA) and Nishant Dayal, Director, ESM, admitted that there were question marks over the availability of the India skipper.
“If hectic schedule does not allow him to stay here (Ranchi) for long, he will play at least one game of the tournament,” they claimed. Besides, they said, Dhoni would play in the tournament for the state not for money. “JPL is meant to give exposure and money to young cricketers of the state. We are hopeful that Mahi won’t disappoint us,” said an official.