Five overseas players have pulled out of next month’s Lanka Premier League (LPL), with Faf du Plessis, David Miller and Dawid Malan missing out due to a clash with England’s tour of South Africa, and West Indian Andre Russell unavailable due to injury.
India’s Manvinder Bisla, the fifth player, had been made unavailable subsequent to the player draft being conducted, despite his manager earlier stating he would be available to be selected.
England’s tour of South Africa was only confirmed on Friday, four days after the players were drafted by their respective franchises.
Russell meanwhile has not featured in the Indian Premier League since October 18 after sustained what was reported to be knee and hamstring injuries.
The Colombo Kings, who drafted Russell, du Plessis and Bisla, were the hardest hit, and would be allowed to sign replacement players, LPL Tournament Director and Sri Lana Cricket (SLC) Vice President Ravin Wickramaratne told the Daily Mirror.
“We have given them a list of players and asked them to negoiate and get back to us,” Wickramaratne said.
Miller was picked by the Dambulla Hawks, while Malan was to represent the Jaffna Stallions.
Wickramaratne was confident that the tournament will go ahead despite the current spike in Covid-19 cases in Sri Lanka.
“We have the support of the Sports Minister and the government to play the tournament, and we have put various health measures in place to ensure there is a bio-secure bubble,” he said.
Wickramaratne also added that the deadline for franchises to submit names of those they wished to sign to fill out their squads has been brought forward to October 30.
“If these players are to undergo the quarantine and be ready for the tournament, they have to reach the island before November 5. So we have brought that deadline forward and will conduct the mini-draft on November 1 in case they are unable to sign players themselves,” he added.
Main photo: Andre Russell (Getty Images)