Blueprint for LPL to be Finalised on 4 August – Silva
By Anjana Kaluarachchi
Sri Lanka’s highly anticipated franchise-based T20 league, Lanka Premier League (LPL), has now received official approval by the SLC Executive Committee and the Sri Lanka Government and is all set to get under way from 28 August to 11 September at four stadiums with the participation of five teams.
Even though there are only limited details about franchise owners, player auction, sponsors or title sponsors, SLC President Shammi Silva stated they have more than enough interested parties, and the blueprint of the tournament will be finalised by Tuesday (4).
According to Silva, there are four contenders to be the main sponsor of the tournament. The title sponsor will also get the opportunity of handling the five franchises’ and their sponsors.
Meanwhile, SLC’s ambitious plan to go ahead with the tournament had a set back with the Government’s decision to further delay the scheduled opening of the airport, which was set for 1 August.
President Shammi Silva stated there are about 75-100 foreign players interested in participating in the tournament, and if necessary, SLC will not hesitate to charter a special flight to bring down these players. LPL will feature 23 games to be played at R. Premadasa Stadium, Sooriyawewa, Pallekele and Dambulla. The action will move from venue to venue as the tournament progresses, rather than be played in various venues within the space of a few days as is the case in almost all other leading franchise-based T20s tournament.
The five teams are Colombo, Galle, Jaffna, Dambulla, and Kandy, but none of these teams will have a base venue, nor will they play most of their games in the city they are named after.
Sri Lanka first hosted their first-ever franchise-based T20 league in 2012, the Sri Lanka Premier League (SLPL), but the tournament did not continue. SLC said they have learned from that edition and is now geared to provide a better tournament.
It’s also learnt that former Indian all-rounder Irfan Pathan and New Zealand opener Martin Guptill are among the players interested, which is bound to attract a section of the Indian audience.
Domestic premier clubs have been requested to name two players per club for the league, while 80 cricketers contracted with SLC will make it a quality pool of players.
LPL will clash with another top league – the Caribbean Premier League (CPL 2020) – set to start next month in Trinidad. The CPL 2020 will begin on 18 August with the final scheduled for 10 September. SLC has not issued no objection certificates for SL players to take part in that tournament.