By Bipin Dani
The Lanka Premier League (LPL) could be minus one of its star international attractions with speculation that Chris Gayle would not participate in the tournament.
Reports on social media yesterday indicated that Gayle, popularly known as the Universe Boss, had pulled out of the tournament but the manager of the Kandy Tuskers franchise, who drafted Gayle, said that he had not been officially informed of his unavailability.
“We have not yet decided about a replacement for Chris Gayle. I have not been officially informed about his unavailability,” Farveez Maharoof told the Daily Mirror.
We have not yet decided about a replacement for Chris Gayle. I have not been officially informed about his unavailability
“I came to know about it when I started getting calls from the media.”
It is understood that Gayle was expected to arrive in the island tomorrow, if he was participating.
The Colombo Kings franchise, meanwhile, have also suffered a blow after their coach Kabir Ali tested positive for Covid-19 before he could leave for Sri Lanka.
Ali was to replace Australian Dav Whatmore who pulled out of that role due to personal reasons.
Former Sri Lanka fast bowler Chaminda Vaas who was supposed to be assistant coach to Whatmore has also withdrawn.
The Colombo Kings, in a post on their Facebook page, stated that former South African opener Herschelle Gibbs, who was originally part of the six-member television commentary team, will replace Ali, while Rangana Herath will be his assistant.
The arrival of Pakistani all-rounder Shahid Afridi to Sri Lanka for the LPL will be delayed by a few days, it is learnt.
The 40-year-old Afridi has been drafted by the Galle Gladiators team.
“Afridi’s youngest daughter is sick and therefore he will not be travelling with the other Pakistani players on Thursday but will join the team within next three or four days,” a source close to the team management said.
Afridi is a father of five daughters and the youngest was born last February.
“She is recovering well and hopefully Afridi will join the team in the next few days and will not only manage the quarantine policy in Sri Lanka but will play the matches,” team coach Moin Khan said.
Most of the foreign players of all teams are reaching Sri Lanka Today .
“Our five players will reach on 19th and Shoaib Malik is arriving on Friday,” Jaffna Stallions media director Saranga Wijeyarathne said.