Indian Premier League side Kings XI Punjab announced the launch of a Twenty20 tournament to be played between five teams from Wednesday.
The tournament, called the Kings XI Punjab Cup, will have teams from Punjab, Haryana, Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh, with the final scheduled on February 2.
The matches will be played at PCA stadium in Mohali and Chandigarh’s Sector 16 cricket stadium and the final will be played in Mohali, Kings XI’s co-promoter and Bollywood actress, Priety Zinta told a news conference on Tuesday.
“The Cup, with a prize money of Rs 5 lakh (winners will get Rs 3 lakh and runners up Rs 2 lakh), will be played in a round robin format and will comprise of five teams including two from Punjab,” she said.
Clad in a red top and trousers, Zinta, who mostly spoke in Punjabi, also said that the Kings XI is soon going to launch an academy to hone and nurture talent in the region.
“We are taking initiatives like having this Cup, which will be an annual feature, and later having an academy to support and unearth talent at the grassroots level. We believe that young talent should get free and clean opportunity to come and perform. We feel that being part of the IPL is just not enough and we wanted to take our initiative to the grassroots level,” she said.
Former national selector Bhupinder Singh Sr is on the selection panel for the Kings XI Cup and one of his jobs will be to identify talent that could be absorbed in the IPL.
Asked if Kings XI Punjab, which is led by dashing left-handed batsman Yuvraj Singh, would go for player swapping or make any changes this season, Zinta said, “it will be known when the players’ auction takes place. But there may be some minor changes here and there, but overall composition will remain the same”
She said open trials of Kings XI will be held in Mohali on February 16 and 17.