In the lead-up to TNPL 2022, Vijay, 38, said that he had taken a break for personal reasons and that he now wants to relish whatever cricket he plays.
“I want to play as long as possible. Just took a personal break,” Vijay said at a TNPL event in Chennai earlier this week. “I have a young family and wanted to take care of them. I’m enjoying my cricket now and I’m feeling fit, hopefully, I can do my bit for my team and TNPL.
“It was difficult for me personally because I wanted to play but I had injuries and my personal life was going at a fast pace. I wanted to slow it down and see where I was standing as an individual. I wanted to reflect on myself and that’s why I felt that [a] break was required and needed for me at that particular time. TNCA has understood that and they’ve given me this beautiful platform to come back and play the game.”
“TNPL, as I’ve said before, it’s a gift for Tamil Nadu cricketers. It’s about how we use it and express ourselves in the middle.”
“The two-year break was to reflect on the exact point you are saying [India comeback],” Vijay said. “At the end of the day, you have to be realistic with your targets. I pretty much don’t have any aim at the moment. I just want to play cricket and enjoy this phase of my life at this point and see where it takes me, with the help of TNCA.”
“Just go out there and perform and make use of the opportunity. How many ever youngsters I can help out and be with them – that’s going to be my role in this team in TNPL,” Vijay said. “That’s what I’m looking forward for – to rub shoulders with the youngsters and talk the way they can understand and see where they are and contribute to TNPL.”
This season’s TNPL will be held in Tirunelveli, Dindigul, Coimbatore, and Salem, with the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai currently undergoing renovation, ahead of a potential homecoming for MS Dhoni’s Super Kings in the next IPL.
R Ashwin, who is currently in England with the India Test squad, and Dinesh Karthik will not be available for the start of the league but could potentially feature in the second half of the tournament after finishing their India commitments in the UK. Left-arm seamer T Natarajan, too, is unlikely to start the tournament, for Lyca Kovai Kings, as he is currently undergoing rehab at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bengaluru.