Time not far away when J&K will send its team to IPL: Chib

Jammu: The Jammu and Kashmir government is in favour of merging the Kashmir Premier League and the Jammu Premier League so that a Twenty20 team from the state could be fielded in the highly popular Indian Premier League in the near future.

"We are trying best to channelise the hidden talent of the state and time is not far when the state of J&K will send its own team in Indian Premier League," Sport Minister R S Chib told reporters here on Wednesday.

He invited the big corporate houses to help the J&K government in its mission to ensure recognition and fame for the state`s cricketers.

Chib said that his ministry along with JKCA and other cricket bodies have been successfully conducting KPL and JPL in the state.

Spelling out the broad contours of measures being taken to promote the game of cricket in the state, Chib spoke on "merger of the two premier leagues into a unified Jammu and Kashmir Premier League to have best of cricketers for participation in IPL in future."

The minister added that the state`s Youth Services and Sports Department and Sports Council will seek all possible assistance from BCCI in this regard and hoped that best of the facilities will be made available to the budding cricketers.

Chib acknowledged the help already being extended by JKCA headed by Farooq Abdullah and the patronage of Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah, who are keen to see cricket flourish in the state.

Chib also recognised the role of Army in holding the Kashmir and Jammu T-20 Premier Leagues, saying without their help it would not have been possible to organise the tournament in the state.

He also expressed gratitude to the Army for its civic action programme under "Operation Sadbhawana", saying this has helped in transforming the attitude of the rural population in recent times.

"Such prestigious events are launched in view of the need of boosting cricket at domestic level to nurture and build local talent," he said.

The minister was also optimistic that JPL will also turn into a big success and help take state`s cricket to next level.

"If we build on this platform over the next few years, we will have a format that could revolutionise the sports world of the state," he opined.

He also informed that the winning team will be awarded with a cash prize of Rs five lakh while the runner up team will get Rs three lakh. The man of the match and man of the series will get Rs one lakh each.