The Lanka Premier League has been officially rescheduled to take place in December 2022. The third season of the LPL was initially slated to be held in August, but the economic crisis engulfing the country had forced a postponement last month.
“It’s my pleasure to announce that the LPL will be held from 6th to 23rd December,” LPL tournament organiser Samantha Dodanwela told the media. The news was also confirmed by IPG, the LPL’s official promoter, on Twitter.
Amid the crisis, sponsors felt that organising the tournament in August was sub-optimal. That led to the tournament being officially postponed in July. Later, similar reasons were put forth as the reason for shifting the Asia Cup, set to begin on 27 August, from Sri Lanka to the UAE.
Dodanwela was speaking at a briefing organised with a view to elaborating on the ongoing SLC Invitational T20 tournament. The four-team tournament was organised following the initial postponement of the LPL, to aid Sri Lanka’s selectors in finalising the squad for the T20 World Cup in Australia starting October 2022.
No decision has been taken yet on a potential LPL re-draft. It is understood that the tournament organisers are deciding between two options: either holding a fresh draft, or going ahead with as many of the available players as possible with only the slots taken up by any unavailable foreign players being re-drafted.
As per Sri Lanka’s Future Tours Program, the tournament will likely be sandwiched between a home Test series against West Indies in November and an away ODI series against India in December-January. Including recent home series against Australia and Pakistan, this means Sri Lanka’s cricketers are at the start of a packed cricketing schedule until July next year, leading up to the ODI World Cup in India in October 2023.
The LPL is a five-team competition being held since 2020. Jaffna Kings, formerly the Stallions, have been champions in the two previous seasons while Galle Gladiators have been runners-up in both those editions. The other three teams are Colombo Stars, Kandy Falcons and Dambulla Giants – all three of whom have also gone through changes in ownership since the inaugural edition.