Dinesh Karthik believes that the Tamil Nadu Premier League is not just a platform for youngsters to showcase their potential but is also a stepping stone that benefits the state's white ball cricket performance. The Indian international says that the tournament has enhanced his performance and credits Tamil Nadu's victorious Deodhar Trophy and Vijay Hazare Trophy campaign last season for his return to the India limited-overs side.
Speaking to reporters ahead of the final of the second edition of the TNPL between Chepauk Super Gillies and defending champions, Albert TuTi Patriots, the 32-year-old spoke about what the tournament brings to experienced campaigners like him.
"For me, it gives me an opportunity to play with the young boys. I feel that even though I am not directly benefitted from TNPL if it helps Tamil Nadu produce few cricketers which in turn helps Tamil Nadu in white ball cricket and there when I perform well in domestic cricket, it will help me enhance my performance," he says.
3 games. That was all Dinesh Karthik played in the inaugural edition of the TNPL in 2016. But he had amassed two fifties, scored 170 runs at an average of 85 and was part of the victorious Patriots side that lifted the title and that set the tone for a stellar domestic season, which saw him earn a recall to the Indian ODI side after three years.
"Today I have made a comeback to the Indian team and a lot of credit should go to the fact that we won Deodhar Trophy and Vijay Hazare Trophy. If that hadn't happened, I don't know if I would have played for India. It helped me to play two finals with the selectors watching. That in turn, helped me to get back into the Indian team."
To have the platform available is one thing, but to break the door down is something else. And that is precisely what he did as he scored 854 runs in 12 innings at an average of 85.40 across both tournaments and that helped him earn a spot in the Indian squad for the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy and finally make his long-awaited comeback in the ODI series against West Indies, where he scored an unbeaten fifty in the final ODI to help India seal the series 3-1.
He also hoped that others will follow suit and there will be more that make the most of the opportunity that is presented to budding Tamil Nadu cricketers.
"This is a platform for young boys to perform and just like how domestic tournaments helped me to get back into the Indian team, I am sure the boys will be using this tournament as a platform to get into the Tamil Nadu limited overs side which in turn will propel them to bigger things as well," he concluded.