Taking the rise of tennis ball cricket in account, Rajasthan is all set to host its first-ever professional tennis ball cricket league – Royal Star Premier League – in the last week of April. The complete mega event will be played in Jaipur for seven days with two matches being played on each day. The league, whose matches will be telecast live, will have 8 teams with a total 15 players in each side.
The process of selecting players will involve trials under ITBCA (Indian Tennis Ball Cricket Association) from where the selected players will then go under the hammer where a total of 120 players will see a change in their fortunes. The purse for each franchise at the auction will be INR 3 lakh each. Meanwhile, an overall prize money of INR 5 lakh will be there for the players and winning teams, including the franchise owners.
“To maintain the fair play during the players’ selection, ITBCA will monitor everything…. Any player from Rajasthan can apply for trials and we will arrange the venues for it according to the convenience of players,” said ITBCA chairman Rajasthan, Moshin Rashid Khan, in a press conference on Wednesday.
“Deuce cricket is a different genre. In that, you can progress towards IPL and Team India, but many players cannot afford that game. Meanwhile, there are many talented tennis ball players, who are still unknown. The work of ITBCA and this league is to find those talents and showcase them in front of the people and IPL team owners and BCCI so that the tennis players can also progress,” he added.
Talking about the idea behind conducting the league, Royal Star Premier League chairman, Suren Bishnoi, said, “Rajasthan majorly consists of rural areas and not everybody can afford to play deuce cricket. Meanwhile, tennis ball cricket is an easily affordable game and this league will provide a platform to the tennis ball players.”
The exact dates and venue of the league will be announced in the second press conference.