June 20, 2009

Indian Premier League

More movie stars yearn for IPL

Nishi Narayanan

It appears the IPL is to Indian movie stars what commentary is to retired cricketers. They all want a piece of it. The latest to turn franchise-hopefuls are two filmmakers from southern India who are keen to nurture local talent and have approached the Kerala Cricket Association to take their proposal to the BCCI.

Priyadarsan, a noted movie director, and Mohanlal, a superstar in regional films in south India, sent some young players for selection trials to the Kolkata Knight Riders and though none of their players were picked, Priyadarsan said the exposure to international players certainly helped.

“We’re trying to nurture local talent, as the most successful IPL players this year have been little known guys like Manish Pandey, Pragyan Ojha, and Kamran Khan,” Mohanlal told the Times of India. “There are a lot of youngsters in the small towns of Kerala and Tamil Nadu waiting to get a break. They have the talent, but lack exposure and world-class training facilities.”

Priyadarsan said the state association will approach the BCCI with their proposal. However the IPL does not plan to add teams to the existing eight next year. So the Malayali Marauders/Kerala Crusaders will have to make do with talent-spotting for now.

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Nishi Narayanan is a staff writer at ESPNcricinfo

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