Lanka Premier League: Galle gladiators will bounce back this season - Omar
Galle Gladiators fell short by a whisker to win the inaugural edition of the Lanka Premier League going down to eventual winner Jaffna Stallions in a closely fought final. But, owner of Galle Gladiators Nadeem Omar feels this will be the year of the Gladiators as they prepare to bounce back even stronger in the second edition of the premier T20 League in the island nation. Omar has also roped in Aziz Abdul Rahim Kassamali and Majid Bashir as co-owners of the Galle Gladiators.
In the first season, the team was led by Pakistani star all- rounder Shahid Afridi in the early phase of the tournament and was later taken over by Sri Lanka’s Bhanuka Rajapaksa after Afridi had to leave the tournament midway due to some personal reasons. Former legendary pacer Wasim Akram was the team mentor.
Omar also owns the Quetta Gladiators franchise in the Pakistan Super League (PSL). He is a Pakistani business executive and former scrabble player who is known nationally and internationally for his contributions to sports. He has been the president of the Pakistan Scrabble Association since October 2020 and the president of the Karachi City Cricket Association since May 2018. He is also the president of the Pakistan Cricket Club.
The core motivation of the Galle franchise is to develop the game in the Southern Province of Sri Lanka. “The upcoming LPL season is very crucial for us especially after the way we fought back last season. We saw some remarkable performances from young players like Azam Khan, Dhananjaya Lakshan and Sahan Arachchige. They have set a benchmark of excellence for the younger talents who will come into the team.
Coming into the next edition, we want to put up a better fight and clinch the trophy. We had great support from the fans around Galle, though they weren’t allowed into the stadiums but we saw their support online through various platforms. We urge them to extend their support in similar fashion and help us grow,” said Omar while highlighting the focus for the upcoming edition of the premier T20 League in the Island Nation.
The inaugural edition of the Lanka Premier League (LPL) which was played in a bio-secure bubble at the Mahinda Rajapaksa International Cricket Stadium in Hambantota from 26 November till 16 December 2020, reached a cumulative audience of 557 million people through TV, digitalsocial space, and traditional media outlets.
Sponsors enjoyed a media evaluation (visibility) of $54.5 million and title sponsor MY11CIRCLE enjoyed a ROI of 9.85x. Winner of the first edition of LPL Jaffna Stallions tops the valuation chart with $3.98 million followed by Galle Gladiators ($3.82 million), Dambulla Kings ($3.54 million) Colombo Kings ($3.44 million) and Kandy Tuskers ($3.19 million).