Colombo to Lock Horns with Galle in Opener
The schedule for the Lanka Premier League (LPL) was announced on Thursday (22) with Colombo taking on Galle in the opening match of the tournament on 21 November at the Mahinda Rajapaksa International Cricket Stadium in Hambantota.
The two semi-finals and the final are scheduled to be played at Pallekele International Cricket Stadium in Kandy. The final of the tournament will be played on 13 December, with 14 December being kept as a reserve day.
Chris Gayle, Andre Russell, Faf du Plessis, David Miller and Carlos Brathwaite are some of the big names that are expected to feature at the inaugural tournament.
Coached by Sri Lanka-born former Australian player and coach Dav Whatmore and assisted by Sri Lanka great Chaminda Vaas, the Colombo Kings team has a strong outfit with former Sri Lanka Captain Angelo Mathews leading the side, along with former South Africa limited-over skipper Faf du Plessis and West Indies all-rounder Andre Russel (with more than 300 T20 matches under their belts), being some of the top names picked by Colombo Kings.
On the other hand Galle Gladiators have Sri Lankan pacer Lasith Malinga as the Local Icon, while Pakistan great Shahid Afridi and Colin Ingram are the two overseas signing. The team will be coached by Moin Khan.
Among others, Kandy Tuskers picked up Kusal Janith as the Local Icon, while Chris Gayle and Liam Plunkett were picked as the two overseas signing. The team will be coached by Hashan Tillakaratne.
Dasun Shanaka is the Local Icon for Dambulla Hawks while David Miller and Carlos Brathwaite are the overseas signing. The Hawks team will be coached by Jon Lewis.
Meanwhile, Jaffna Stallions have Thisara Perera as the Local Icon and Dawid Malan as the overseas signing.
Earlier Sports Minister Namal Rajapaksa also said that LPL will position Sri Lanka on the global sports map and will attract the attention of local and international sports spectators. Rajapaksa also said the Government will extend all possible support to make LPL an annual sports property of Sri Lanka much on the lines of the Indian Premier League (IPL) in India.
However, considering the current situation in Sri Lanka on Covid-19 the inaugural tournament is likely to be pushed back again to meet the quarantine requirements imposed by the health authorities.