Stung by charges of corruption and financial irregularities, the Orissa Premier League that started off brilliantly with much fanfare in the year 2011 and was forced to be abandon ed by the Orissa Cricket Academy (OCA), has finally seen the day with the beginning of the start of OPL – Season 2 yesterday from 1st May.
After repeated postponements, the organizers took the event to a colorful start this year with much changes in the format and composition of the team. The opening ceremony of the gala event was held in Barabati Stadium in Cuttack yesterday amidst much fanfare.
Having done away with the bidding system for purchase of players and the direct involvement of any corporate in the process, the Orissa Cricket Association (OCA) has devised its own plan and strategy to hold the OPL and has made a list of some 176 players putting them in five grades and fixing their match allowances according to the gradation of players. A total of eight teams have been short listed that has been rechristened as Barabati, Mahanadi, Dhauli, Rushikulya, Baitarani, Konark, Subarnarekha and Chilika.
The playing eleven of each team consists of three players each from Grade A and B, two players from Grade C and D and one player from Grade E. The players will be paid according to their grades. Each team will have three players from Ranji team, four each from B and C grade player pool and three or four players from local area. They will be paid Rs 50,000, Rs 40,000, Rs 30,000 and Rs 20,000 respectively for each match.
This year all the matches of the Orissa Premier League (OPL) will be played in Barabati stadium (cuttack) and VSS stadium (Sambalpur). While all the Group A matches will be held in Cuttack the Group B matches will be palyed in Sambalpur. At both the venues, the first match will be played from 4.00 pm to 7.00 pm and second from 7.30 pm to 10.30 pm. Arrangements have also been made to get the matches telecasted on local TV channels.
The champions of OPL-II will get cash a cash prize of Rs 3 lakhs, while the runners-up will take home Rs 2 lakhs.The third-placed team will be richer by Rs 1 Lakh, while the Man of the Tournament will pocket Rs 25,000.
The Twenty 20 tournament could not be held last year after it came under the scanner of the vigilance department following allegations of black money having been invested by corporate who sponsored the event. The event this year , though sans any major sponsor still has everything in it to enthuse it’s fan and have their eyeballs glued to the TV screen!