India Test cricketer R Ashwin will lead Dindigul Dragons in the third edition of Tamil Nadu Premier League which will be held at various venues from July 11. The lanky off-spinner will play in the initial matches of the league, the team owner H R Srinivasan said.
"It was an advantage to have Ravichandran Ashwin (retained by the team) at the player draft to select the best possible combination. Ashwin will be participating in the initial matches, after which he is expected to get busy with international duty," he said.
N Jagadeesan will lead in his absence, he added. Ashwin, who is part of the National squad for the Test series against England, is likely to leave in the middle of the league.
Meanwhile, another India cricketer Dinesh Karthik was snapped up by Karaikudi Kaalai, which would be coached by former Test cricketer S Badrinath.
Test opener Murali Vijay was picked up by Ruby Trichy Warriors and all-rounder Vijay Shankar was roped in by defending champion Chennai Super Gillies during the draft held here on Thursday.
Vijay Shankar had turned out for Lyca Kovai Kings in the previous edition.
Test discard Abhinav Mukund was bagged by Kovai Kings while promising young all-rounder M S Washington Sundar was retained by Tuti Patriots.
Both Dinesh Karthik and Sundar, who are part of the India squad for the limited-overs leg of the England tour, will miss the first week of TNPL.