The inaugural Lanka Premier League (LPL) T20 tournament will be played from August 28 to September 20 subsequent to approval from the Health Ministry, a Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) official said today.
The local franchise T20 tournament has been in the works since in 2018, and was originally to be held on August 8, but the fluidity of the COVID-19 situation in the country had compelled SLC to postpone it.
However, SLC’s Ex-CO today decided that it would look to conduct the tournament late next month, with some 70 international players and 10 foreign coaches having shown interest to participate.
The tournament would still need approval from the Health Ministry, but SLC CEO Ashley de Silva said they were confident the tournament could be conducted as planned.
“We are hoping to have a meeting with the Health Ministry officials next week, and since they have already given us the go-ahead to conduct the domestic cricket tournament, we are confident that we will be able to have the Lanka Premier League,” de Silva said.
“We will have to seek Health Ministry guidelines,” de Silva said regarding the possibility of foreign players and coaches having to undergo quarantine when entering the country.
Each of the five franchise, representing the cities of Colombo, Kandy, Galle, Dambulla and Jaffna, will be allowed to pick six international players each from that pool of 70 players, effectively meaning that only 30 international players will participate at the tournament.
De Silva said it would be up to the event holder to decide how players will be chosen for each team.
“The event holder will make the decision but it most likely will be through an auction,” de Silva said.
The 23-match tournament will be played at four international venues, namely the R. Premadasa International Cricket Stadium, the Rangiri Dambulla International Cricket Stadium, the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium and the Sooriyawewa Mahinda Rajapaksa International Cricket Stadium. (By Shehan Daniel)