In a statement earlier this week, the Sri Lanka Cricket confirmed that the inaugural edition of the Lanka Premier League, a franchise-based domestic competition in Sri Lanka, is set to commence on November 14. The LPL was originally scheduled to take place between August 28 to September 20, but was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. The final of the tournament will take place on December 6.
“Sri Lanka Cricket expects to officially launch the eagerly awaited Sri Lanka Premier League T20 cricket tournament in early November,” the SLC said in a statement. The tournament will be played at three international venues — Rangiri Dambulla International Cricket Stadium, Pallekele International Cricket Stadium and Suriyawewa Mahinda Rajapakse International Cricket Stadium.
The league will begin three days after the final of the Indian Premier League (IPL), which will take place in the United Arab Emirates from September 19. The SLC has collaborated with Innovative Production Group (IPG), which was offered rights for licensing of franchises, broadcasting, production and ground rights of the event, to host the tournament.
SLC is in the last stages of finalizing the event with the board officials waiting for financial statements and a bank guarantee from the Dubai based company before signing a deal that would stretch to five years and will bring stability to their finances. Officials were also holding talks with Health Ministry on the safety measures that will be followed by players.
“The tournament will not only create a platform for local players to develop their skills by playing side by side with world-class players, but will also provide an opportunity for Sri Lankan cricket fans to watch a quality cricket tournament,” the organisers said. Five teams, named after Colombo, Kandy, Galle, Dambulla and Jaffna districts, will compete in 23 matches over a 15-day period.
Nadeem Omar, the Gladiators owner, said that the ownership of a team in LPL “is a good opportunity to bring the cricket fraternity of the two countries closer”. One of cricket’s best entertainers Shahid Afridi has signed to play and captain the Galle franchise, while Moin Khan, another former Pakistan captain will coach the Galle franchise.
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