Five Tamil Nadu Premier League franchises have written to the TNCA urging to bring a wholesome change to the structure in the upcoming edition of the league. The franchises have raised concerns on the profitability, international player availability and other aspects of the league.
Tamil Nadu Premier League definitely broke new ground and created a space for the budding TN cricketers to showcase their talent in front of the IPL scouts. The rise of Murugan Ashwin, Varun Chakravarty, and T Natarajan are there for everyone to see, but the league has not been a profit venture yet, at least for the teams in concern.
To address certain issues, the owners of Tuti Patriots, Lyca Kovai Kings, Siechem Madurai Panthers, Ruby Trichy Warriors and I Dream Karaikudi Kaalai sent a letter to the state association to have a discussion on the profitability, player availability and other aspects of the league.
"We are concerned about the future viewership and proposed TRP for 2019 TNPL. None of us could find a single sponsor for 2019 TNPL as most of India and IPL players from TN are not taking keen interest to play TNPL," one of the points in the letter read, reported ToI.
Although TNCA tried their level best, they have failed to bring in outstation players to the league thanks to the BCCI rules, and the league has become the ultimate sufferer when the international players of the state opt out of the tournament. One of the franchise owners lamented at the league's inability to bring in outstation players and said that it affects them financially.
"Before bidding for the teams in 2016, we were promised that 3 outstation players could be registered and 2 of them will be allowed to feature in the playing XI. That has not seen the light of the day yet. We were also told that the gate collections and other revenues from the league will be in line with the IPL. That too hasn't materialized," he said.
In its bid to involve small towns in the process, TNCA decided to host matches in Tirunelveli and Natham from the inaugural season in 2016, but apart from Dindigul Dragons, none of the other teams share any connect with these places and that cost TNCA dear.
"Conducting TNPL matches there doesn't help anyone as - barring Dindigul Dragons - none of the other teams share any connect with these places. Therefore, franchises face serious issues in getting the crowd and sponsorship," the owner said.
"My bankers are concerned that this league is not making us any money. We (the franchises) are bleeding with losses. The cost of running a TNPL team each year is around Rs 5 crore and the losses too are the same due to interest and other operational costs."