: The second edition of Tamil Nadu Premier League (TNPL) is going to be a bigger success than the first, former India cricketer L Balaji said while crediting the tournament for helping the State unearth some new talents in 2016. "The tournament was a success in the first year and whenever I travel out of the state a lot of people were talking about the nice way it was conducted. Talents like T Natarajan and N Jagadeesan came to the fore in TNPL-1," he told reporters here yesterday. "Youngsters are getting more opportunities because of TNPL and it has helped them develop quicker.
They are also exposed to more matches against better players, which benefits them," Balaji, the bowling coach of Tamil Nadu team, said. "I expect more fans to connect to the franchises this year, which will help the league grown," he added. Balaji, who is part of Albert Tuti Patriots, the defending champions, however, said "pause", when asked whether he would play in the upcoming tournament. He had retired from all forms of the game at the beginning of the 2016-'17 season and took over as bowling coach of the state team. TNPL-2, which begins on July 22, would also see each franchise have an integrity officer working under former ICC and BCCI anti-corruption chief Ravi Sawani, officials said. Like last year, the matches would be played at Chennai, Tirunelveli and Dindigul. However, this time the semifinals have been done away with and instead there would be qualifiers and eliminator.
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