Srinagar: Kashmir Premier League (KPL), billed as the ultimate cricketing extravaganza, kicked off on Monday with Srinagar Sherdils defeating Budgam Badshahs in the inaugural T20 match by six wickets.

Batting first, Badshahs were bowled out for a paltry 99, which was chased down by the Sherdils for the loss of four wickets.

As many as 14 teams from 10 districts of the valley are participating in the month-long tournament, during which 50 matches will be played at Delhi Public School (DPS) grounds at Athwajan.

The tournament is jointly organised by army and Jammu and Kashmir Cricket Association (JKCA).

Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, who inaugurated the tournament, called for making it a regular feature in the annual cricketing calendar of Kashmir.

"If this tournament is only a one-off, then it will seem that this tournament is not for the children, not for our cricket. It will then look, that state witnessed unrest for three consecutive summers and this is an effort to keep peace in the state," Omar said.

CM expressed hope that the organisers will be able to unearth some outstanding talent through this tournament.

"This is a very very important moment for us, because we felt that cricket is actually the heart of Kashmir and cricket should be used to unite the Kashmir," General Officer Commanding (GOC) Srinagar based 15 Corps, Lt Gen Syed Atta Hasnain told reporters.

The winner of the tournament will take home cash prize of Rs 5 lakh while the runner-up team will pocket Rs 3 lakh. Man of the tournament, meanwhile, will be awarded a cash prize of Rs 60,000.

(Agencies)