The coal capital will soon get a taste of T20 cricket with the district cricket association mulling a Dhanbad Premier League, IPL style.
The league, which will be in line with BCCI’s cash-rich, glamour-stung version of T20 cricket league, will be played by five franchises — Nirsa Warriors, Jharia Janbaaz, Katras King, Sindri Sher and Dhanbad Dangers — the ownership of which was decided last week at Hotel 17 Degree.
While entrepreneur Riyaz Khan bought Dhanbad Dangers, Jharia Janbaaz went to businessman Arup Chatterjee. Hotelier Ashok Chaurasia now owns Sindri Sher, while Katras King are loyal to Sunil Agarwal. Nirsa Warriors was bought by businessman Rajesh Singh Bammi.
The week-long league is scheduled to kick off from May 28.
Sources said that five Jharkhand players, who have been playing for various franchises during season five of the IPL, will be the star entertainers of the league, all the matches of which will be played under floodlights.
While Shahbaz Nadeem (Delhi Daredevils) will play for Nirsa Warriors, Jharia Jaanbaaz has roped in Ishank Jaggi (Deccan Chargers). Speed king Varun Aaron (Delhi Daredevils) will play for Katras King while Rahul Shukla (Mumbai Indians) will don the Dhanbad Dangers’ jersey. Dasher Saurabh Tiwary (Royal Challengers Bangalore) will play for Sindri Sher.
Convener of the organising committee of Dhanbad Premier League S.A. Rahman (Junior) said that the tournament will host 13 matches, with two games being played daily in the league stage.
“The teams will play each other once. The semi-finals of the event have been scheduled for June 2, with the final being hosted the next day. The league matches will begin from 3.45pm and 7pm, respectively, at the Railway Ground,” Rahman, who is also the general secretary of Dhanbad Cricket Association, said.
He added that they had started all necessary preparations at the Railway Ground with ten 50-feet high towers being erected to light up the place for day-night matches.
The residents can procure their passes for the match from five designated spots of the district, which will be announced later. All the matches will be beamed live by state-based private news channel News 11.
The district cricket association had last month released a list of 67 players who had played Ranji Trophy in the U-22, U-19 or at the U-16 level.
The numbers were then pruned to 60 — 12 for each franchise — by a selection committee headed by former Ranji player Shahid Arfi.
Apart from a star player, the franchises have been allowed to rope in two guest players, who should compulsorily be affiliated to the Jharkhand State Cricket Association.
Though there will be no cheerleaders, the district cricket association said that it would do its bit to up the glamour quotient of the tournament by getting a local or national celebrity to perform during the league’s inauguration and closing ceremonies. An array of cultural programmes too has been lined up.