Bengaluru: The eighth edition of the Redmi Karnataka Premier League (KPL 2019) gets underway here at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium on Friday (August 16), with Bengaluru Blasters taking on Mysuru Warriors in what promises to be an explosive encounter.

The Karnataka State Cricket Association (KSCA) marquee T20 event, powered by Dream11, will see the state’s most talented youngsters rub shoulders with their more senior pros as they vie for the coveted trophy and prize money of Rs 10 lakh over the next 16 days.

Also read: Full schedule of KPL 2019

The KPL will begin with an opening ceremony on Friday, before the first match, and will conclude with the grand finale in Mysuru on August 31.

“Like every year, there is a buzz for the KPL and we, the organisers, the players and the spectators can’t wait for the action to begin,” KSCA secretary Sudhakar Rao said.

Also read: Full list of all 7 squads

Jonathan Rongsen, who was pouched by the Blasters at the auction for Rs 6 lakh, will lead the Blasters as they attempt to claim their first title since being rechristened. The team, formerly called Bangalore Brigadiers, has plenty of young talent in its ranks, with V Koushik, Rohan Kadam and Nikin Jose headlining their act.

The Warriors, led by Amit Verma, aren’t much more seasoned as a side, but they have plenty of players who have been part of the grind for longer.

Aniruddha Joshi, for instance, is one of the finest exponents of batting in the shortest format and he has the numbers for Karnataka to back him up. His domestic conquests have even taken him so far as the Indian Premier League with Royal Challengers Bangalore. That he didn’t get a chance to ply his wares there will only fuel him to put up bigger numbers at this KPL.

If the second-highest grosser in the Auction, with a bid of Rs 7.1 lakh isn’t enough, there is J Suchith, a regular with the Karnataka Ranji side and the Mumbai Indians in the IPL, to bolster the squad. Amit also has D Nischal’s resilient batsmanship to bank on when needed.

Rongsen has plenty to ponder over, and with rain being a cause for concern this time of the year, he has another factor to consider before setting foot on the field for what could be a life-altering season for some and a great platform for others.

Veda to lead Tuskers

Meanwhile, Veda Krishnamurthy will lead Ballari Tuskers as they take on Belagavi Panthers in the opening women’s game on August 18 at the Rail Wheel Factory grounds in Bangalore.

As a part of KSCA’s initiative to raise the profile of women’s cricket in the state, three women’s teams will feature in six games. Ballari, Belagavi and Shivamogga are the KPL teams who have sponsored the women’s sides. The games will run parallel to the KPL on August 18, 19, 20, 22 and 23.

The Panthers will be led by G Divya while Shivamogga Lions named Rakshitha Krishnappa as their skipper. 

The box office counters at the stadium will be open between 11 am and 6 pm on non-match Days and 11 am to 8 pm on Match Days. Tickets will be sold at Gate No. 18 and Online Ticket Redemption will be done at Gate No. 19.

Squads

Bengaluru Blasters: Rongsen Jonathon (captain), V Koushik, Manoj Bhandage, Rohan Kadam, Sharath BR (wicketkeeper), Bharath Duri, Anand Doddamani, Naga Bharath, Bharath D, Anil IG, Nikin Jose, Anuraj Bajpai, Nishant S Shekhawat, Muthanna Chandrasekhar, Kishore Kamath, Kuldeep Kumar, Rishi Bopanna, Aditya Goyal.

Mysuru Warriors: Amit Verma (captain), Aniruddha Joshi, J Suchith, Vyshak Vijaykumar, Shoaib Manager, M Venkatesh, Devaiah KS, KV Siddharth, Kushal Wadhwani, Vinay N Sagar (wicketkeeper), Saurabh Yadav, Manjesh Reddy, Sankalp Shettinavar, BU Shivkumar, Ram Sarikh Yadav, Jayesh Babu, Kishan Bedare, Dega Nischal.

Match starts at 7 pm

Opening Ceremony at 5 pm

Women’s matches

August 18: Panthers v Tuskers (RWF); August 19th: Shivamogga Lions v Panthers (RRMC); August 20th: Lions v Tuskers (RWF); August 22nd: Lions v Tuskers (RRMC); August 23rd: Panthers v Tuskers (RWF); Lions v Panthers (RWF).

Women’s match timings: 10 am