Discussions between Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) and officials of the Ministry of Health Wednesday will likely determine if the Lanka Premier League (LPL) can take place as scheduled or if it will face another postponement.
With the LPL scheduled to begin on November 21, SLC have now found themselves pressed for time as they are yet to receive clearance from the Health Ministry to conduct the tournament.
Additionally, it has been reported that the Health Ministry is still to approve the names of the contingent of around 140 foreigners who are expected for the LPL.
SLC had intended for them to reach the country by the end of the week so that their 14-day quarantine could be completed in time for the tournament.
A possible solution that SLC appear open to, in the event the tournament cannot start on time, is a postponement by a week, but could also result in the players selected for the tour of South Africa in December, being unavailable for the back end of the LPL.
Cricket South Africa expects the Sri Lanka team to arrive in South Africa two weeks before the boxing day Test on December 26.
With uncertainty over the start date of the LPL, the mini-draft which was supposed to be held last Sunday to help teams fill their remaining overseas player slots, was postponed.
“We can’t do anything until we get approval, so it’s pointless to ask teams for their nominees until we know if and when the tournament is taking place,” SLC Vice President and Tournament Director Ravin Wickramaratne said.
Meanwhile, Innovative Production Group (IPG), who are promoting the LPL, today said they were prepared to host the tournament within health guidelines once the Health Ministry gives the go ahead.
“IPG also states that all required procedures related to the players, team owners and broadcast partners are finalized and awaits certain procedural clearings before it can be made public. Some announcements have been delayed due to state-called closure of banks and government institutions because of the current Covid-19 scenario in Sri Lanka,” IPG said in a statement today. (SMD)