The first phase of preliminary selection took place at Tiruchi last week and over 1,000 players participated. One team comprising talented batsmen and bowlers were chosen from the Tiruchi zone. Boys between eight and 12 years can participate in the selection. Applicants can be accompanied by their parents. They should also bring some document to prove their age. They are requested to bring their cricket kit.
Entry is restricted to the first 1,000 registrations. At each of the preliminary selections, the kids will be tested on their basic skills of the game and cricket trivia. Their cricket skills (including batting, bowling and fielding) will be judged by district-level cricketers. The children will be asked to play with a leather ball. One team of 11 players will be chosen from the Coimbatore zone. Pepsodent Chennai Super Kings Juniors will be aired on Saturday and Sunday at 7 p.m. on Vijay TV.
The winning eleven will be christened Chennai Super Kings Juniors, says R.Balachandran, Vice President, Strategic Planning and Marketing, Vijay TV, Chennai. Managing Director of India Cements and Secretary of BCCI, N. Srinivasan, says while Tiruchi and Coimbatore will have one team teach, Chennai will have two or three teams. The selection will be held on March 14 and 15 in Chennai. The five teams will play a round robin league in the T10 format and each team will clash with other teams twice during the league phase starting from March 22/23 and the whole exercise will go on before the final 11 is chosen, he adds.
Apart from the original eleven playing in the matches, there will be reserves who will be called into teams in case of necessity. In addition to the players who make to the teams in the finals, the other players too will be in contention for the selection of the final Chennai Super Kings Juniors team depending on their performance in the matches, Mr. Balachandran says.
The team members will have the opportunity of watching the matches being played in Chennai by the Chennai Super Kings team in the IPL tournament. The seniors will also interact with them. Three players from the junior team, who excel in bowling, batting or fielding, will be given the opportunity to participate in the nets with the senior players and will have the chance to travel to any one of the IPL matches staged outside Chennai. The teams will also get a chance to rub shoulders with cricketers such as Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Adrew Flintoff, and Muttiah Muralitharan. The juniors team will also be coached by former national cricketer V.B.Chandrasekar. The Hindu will be the media partner for the event.