The Tamil Nadu Premier League (TNPL) is a professional Twenty20 cricket league contested in the state of Tamil Nadu in India and was formed in 2016 by the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association (TNCA). It is played during July and August of every year by eight teams representing eight districts in Tamil Nadu. Shriram Group is the current sponsor of the tournament. The first season inaugurated by Former Indian cricket team captain MS Dhoni. Then it was won by Tuti Patriots.

There have been five seasons of TNPL. The current champions, Chepauk Super Gillies are also the most successful team after winning the title in 2017, 2019 and 2021. The other teams which have won the title are Salem Spartans (Tuti Patriots) in 2016 and Siechem Madurai Panthers in 2018.

In 2019 two of the franchises were accused of match fixing which led to removal of co-owners of a franchise. However both franchises remained intact in the league.

It is one of the regional cricket premier leagues of India.

History

Background

In 2016, the TNPL was launched at the time when Chennai Super Kings, the Tamil Nadu franchise playing Indian Premier League (IPL), was facing a two-year suspension from the league. The league was aimed to make up for the absence of high-profile matches in Chennai in the year and to expose talented players from districts. It was launched by then TNCA president N. Srinivasan, who is also the owner of Chennai Super Kings and TNPL's initial title sponsor, India Cements.

Franchise rights

Winning bidders
Owner Franchise Price
Vivo South Chennai distributor Selvakumar Salem Spartans 5.21 crore (US$680,000)
Metronation Chennai Chepauk Super Gillies 5.13 crore (US$670,000)
Lyca Productions Lyca Kovai Kings 5.01 crore (US$660,000)
Kothari (Madras) Ltd. Madurai Panthers 4.001 crore (US$530,000)
Ruby Builders Trichy Warriors 3.69 crore (US$480,000)
Crown Forts Ltd. Nellai Royal Kings 3.48 crore (US$460,000)
Take Solutions Ltd Dindigul Dragons 3.42 crore (US$450,000)
I Dream cinemas I Dream Tiruppur Tamizhans 3.3 crore (US$430,000)

On 1 May 2016, TNCA invited bidders for the eight franchise rights. A total of 17 bidders participated in the bidding process. Members of TNCA were not allowed to participate. The base price set for each franchise was 1.25 crore (US$160,000) for a period of 10 years. After the auction, the amount TNCA earned from franchise rights was 33.51 crore (US$4.4 million) which was more than three times the minimum bid amount. Salem Spartans was the highest bidder who chose Salem for 5.21 crore (US$680,000). The second highest was Metronation Chennai Television Pvt. Ltd which bought the Chennai team 5.13 crore (US$670,000). And Salem Spartans is the costliest team in TNPL with 5.21 crore (US$680,000)

Inauguration

On 16 August 2016, the first edition was inaugurated by MS Dhoni in Chennai. The first edition featured popular players like Ravichandran Ashwin, Murali Vijay, Dinesh Karthik and Lakshmipathy Balaji. It also featured players registered with the state association. Robin Singh and Michael Bevan were appointed as coaches. Matthew Hayden was the brand ambassador of the league. BookMyShow.com sold the match tickets from ₹50 while Star Sports were the TV broadcasters.

Outstation players registered with the TNCA like Piyush Chawla and Hardik Pandya were expected to join the season. However, they did not since TNCA was not given permission at the time by the BCCI.

The season was played from 24 August to 18 September. Tuti Patriots emerged as the champions in the final against Chepauk Super Gillies held in M. A. Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai.