The all-India Buchi Babu tournament has received a shot in the arm with Kalpathi Investments coming forward to sponsor the competition. The matches get underway on Thursday.

At a press conference here on Wednesday, TNCA secretary K.S. Viswanathan and joint-secretary R.I. Palani thanked Kalpathi Investments for “their timely gesture.”

The competition will feature three TNCA teams and 10 outstation outfits including Karnataka, Baroda, Uttar Pradesh, Bengal and Haryana.

Viswanathan said: “It will be a valuable opportunity not just for the TNCA teams, but also for the outstation outfits ahead of the season.

“The tournament will witness a number of promising players such as Mohit Sharma.”

Jadeja back in action

Interestingly, the tournament will feature former India cricketer Ajay Jadeja who will be seen in action after a long time. Jadeja will lead the Haryana side.

R. Rangarajan, CFO, Kalpathi Investments, said: “We finance diverse projects and also have a great passion for cricket.” The group’s promoter Kalpathi S. Aghoram is one of the senior vice-presidents in TNCA. He also maintains a few TNCA league teams including first division outfit Young Stars.

The chairman of TNCA umpire’s panel K. Srinivasan said each innings would be restricted to 100 overs with no provision for second innings.

If the first day’s play is washed out — inclement weather remains a cause for concern here — the match will be a 50-overs-a-side affair on day two.

Tamil Nadu coach W.V. Raman said: “This tournament always had great significance. It is taken very seriously.” Raman recalled the legendary Sunil Gavaskar’s feats in the competition during his ‘emerging days’ as a batsman.

Raman said the tournament rules that include the stationing of three fielders in catching positions at all times would encourage bowlers to adopt attacking tactics.

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