Former Test cricketers to play Karnataka Premier League 2015

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Bengaluru, June 25: Former Test cricketers Venkatesh Prasad, Sunil Joshi and David Johnson will play for the All Stars Celebrity team (Rockstars) in this year's Karbonn Smart Karnataka Premier League (KPL) Twenty20 tournament.

Also read: Mysore win KPL 2014; KPL 2014 News

KPL 2015, the 4th edition, will be played in Mysuru and Hubballi from August 26 to September 13, the organisers Karnataka State Cricket Association (KSCA) announced today at a press conference at M Chinnaswamy Stadium.

Karnataka captain R Vinay Kumar (3rd left) along with other players pose for photographers at the launch event

Prasad, Joshi and Johnson will play for All Stars which will be captained by Kannada film actor Sudeep. This side made its debut last year but failed to win a single game. Now to bolster the film industry team, 3 former Test cricketers will be part of the Playing XI.

KPL, in its 4th year now, will feature all the big names in Karnataka cricket including two-time Ranji Trophy winning captain R Vinay Kumar and his team-mates.

This year, each franchise is allowed to retain 2 players. Each team will have 20 players (2 from catchment areas). The Players' Auction will take place in Bengaluru on July 25.

Vinay will be joined by Robin Uthappa, Manish Pandey, KL Rahul, Karun Nair, Abhimanyu Mithun, Mayank Agarwal, J Suchith and others who were also part of the tournament last season too.

There is 1 new team for the 2015 edition. Shimoga franchise - Namma Shivamogga is the new entrant along with the 7 other teams (Mysore, Hubli, Mangalore, Bijapur, Bellary, Belagavi, and All Stars) which were in action in 2014.

KPL 2015 logo is unveiled

Mysore Warriors are the reigning champions and their home ground will be the venue for the final on September 13.

KSCA has gone in with Indian Premier League (IPL) format this year by introducing Qualifier 1, 2 and Eliminator. The top 2 finishers in the league table will contest Qualifier 1 with the winners going straight to the final. The losers face the winner of Eliminator (3rd versus 4th placed team) in Qualfier 2.

Former Test batsman and KSCA Secretary Brijesh Patel said last season was a huge success and expected to be another exciting year this time.

"After the grand success of the previous editions we are happy to bring an even more exciting season 4 of the KPL. Karnataka has a rich legacy of producing some of the best cricketers at the national and international level over the decades and with help of KPL we aim to unearth and develop more such promising talent from the State," Patel said.

Rockstars' captain and Kannada film actor Sudeep (right) with KSCA secretary Brijesh Patel (centre)

On Thursday, the tournament's new logo was unveiled in the presence of players, KSCA officials and sponsors.

"The new KPL logo, with a tagline "It's your time to shine", represents the team jerseys of each team. Its vibrancy is a creative rendition of the stage that is set for excited cricketers and celebrities in Karnataka to come out and express themselves. An opportunity to discover themselves through the travails of victory, defeat, jubilation and frustration," the organisers said.

KSCA president Ashok Anand thanked all those involved in making the tournament a huge success in past years and hoped they would continue the same.

"After receiving tremendous response in Mysore and Hubli last year with packed stadiums for all the matches, we have decided to reduce the number of complimentary passes and increase the number of tickets for sale to the public," KPL Governing Council member and KSCA's spokesperson Vinay Mruthyunjaya said.

All KPL 2015 matches will be telecast Live on Sony SIX channel.

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