It all started when Barack Obama was reiterating ‘Yes we can’ in US. Srini Kesavan believed in that mantra and thought that if Lalit Modi can start IPL in India, we can have KPL (Konkani Premier League) here and told himself ‘Yes We Can’.
It was the year 2013 and 24th year of KAO (OKA was called KAO then) when the KPL idea started to germinate in his mind. He discussed this idea with Naren Kamath, Pramod Udiavar and Kash Nayak during a camping trip and they showed interest in his grandiose idea of forming teams, giving team names, printing t-shirts and conducting a cricket tournament like IPL. The idea was discussed with Niranjan Kamath who was the president that year, he liked the idea and suggested to do something during the picnic. But things didn’t pan out that year due to lack of time for planning.
Next year was our KAO’s 25th year and Srini was the entertainment coordinator along with his Konkani half Supritha. The idea of KPL was lingering in his mind and it was a great opportunity to do something special that year. He suggested the KPL idea to Mahesh Nileshwar – President that year, who was fully supportive and offered to get the t-shirts printed through a contact of his.
Now, when we say KPL, everyone is aware of it but in the first year, lot of efforts went into building the momentum and awareness since people were not sure how KPL will pan out, but everyone slowly warmed up to the idea. We ended up making 4 teams and formed an EC (Executive Committee) team – It was called EC Thunders and Srini was the captain. The other three teams were randomly picked and had kids and ladies as well. Following years did not have an exclusive EC team.
Even though KPL was Srini’s brain child, he had a strong support team who helped in realizing his vision. KPL Core Committee was formed comprising Shashikant Nayak, Srikant Nayak and Kash Nayak along with Srini. Since the 1st year, KPL was conducted at Oakville Cricket Ground where Srini plays league cricket for Oakville Cricket Club.
- Members can sign up for KPL and the teams are randomly picked by the committee with a method to balance all the teams
- KPL has 4 teams, 4 different colored T-Shirts are printed with team names, logos, names & numbers
- The KPL tournament is played on a single day of a weekend, Saturday or Sunday depending on the ground availability.
- There is round robin games of 12 overs a side and based on the points, finalists are decided.
- Finals are played for 15 overs and the winning team gets the coveted rolling KPL cup.
- There detailed playing rules.
Some players even now cherish the caps they had received over the years for their accomplishments (player of match, best bowler, best batman etc.) during the tournament. We currently have 4 teams – Amchi Royals, Konka Lions, Kokke Knights and Dorke Kings. KPL has been growing stronger every year and it has become one of the most popular and favorite OKA events.