Bengaluru, July 4: Former India paceman Venkatesh Prasad said he will give his best when he plays for Rockstars, the celebrity cricket team in this year's Karnataka Premier League (KPL) Twenty20.
Prasad, Sunil Joshi and David Johnson, the former Test players from Karnataka, will come out of retirement to play competitive cricket in KPL 2015, which begins next month.
The 8-team league, in its 4th edition, will be played in Hubballi and Mysuru from August 28 to September 13. Shimogga franchise will be the new addition this year.
The Rockstars team, made up of actors from the Kannada film industry, will be captained by Sudeep. And for the first time features 3 former Test cricketers.
Talking about his participation at a press conference on Friday (July 3), Prasad said, "When Sudeep initially called me I had no idea he was going to ask me to be a part of his team. So when asked, I immediately said yes. I am not sure if I will be able to disturb the team's famed consistency (losing all matches) or live up to the Aamir Sohail send off, but I will definitely try my best and give my full support to the Rockstars and KPL."
"I hope I don't have to pad up and can just do my best with the ball," Prasad, who will turn 46 next month, added. Prasad played 33 Tests and 161 ODIs for India. He also served as India's bowling coach.
Rockstars lost all matches in their debut season last year. Joking about their consistency of losing in 2014, Sudeep said, "We were the most consistent team at KPL last year - by losing all our matches. Other teams won some and lost some but none could live up to our consistent performance on the field.
"This year, the inclusion of the three cricketing stars will disrupt that record I fear. On a more serious note, I feel that these players are legends of the game and those playing in this edition will elevate KPL to another level all together. And having them in our side is a great opportunity for us to learn a lot more about the game and help us improve our performance."
"It is fantastic to know that 'Real Stars' are a part of our team and the KPL. They are the ones who have led from the front and become idols for many in the State and Country," he added.
Former India all-rounder Joshi, 45, said, "I am here purely for Sudeep's passion for this great game. I know that he has played very competitive cricket last year at the KPL and I have seen his heroics in the CCL as well. I would like to thank Sudeep, who came forward and took this initiative and made us a part of KPL 2015.
"I am big supporter of Karnataka cricket and in particular rural Karnataka cricket. There is lots of talent in our state waiting to be unearthed. This is the best platform for seniors like us to spot this talent for Karnataka and nurture them."
Johnson said the reason he opted to play for the Rockstars was, "It's a great tournament and it should help build the Rockstars team. We (senior Pros) being back in the tournament can only help the Team and the KPL. I am sure we will give all the other teams a good run for their money and perhaps win a few games".
As for helping the League he said, "It was the Celebrity team that had the crowds pouring in and this year too it will be the same. Our presence is sure to bring a little more of the crowd as they will expect us to win a few too."
KPL will be telecast Live on Sony SIX channel.