The Lanka Premier League (LPL) will grow in the coming years, all-rounder Irfan Pathan believes, adding the Sri Lankan government and Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) have done a good job in organizing this tournament during a very tough time.
The former Indian national cricketer is in Sri Lanka as a member of the Kandy Tuskers franchise for this season’s LPL.
“The LPL will grow and surely sustain itself. The number of teams (five) is ideal for Sri Lanka. To organize such a tournament at this difficult time is commendable with very tough protocols maintained in the country. All credit to Sri Lanka government and SLC for organizing this event. Also, IPG Group should be commended for coming forward and putting the platform for LPL in Sri Lanka through their sponsorship at a tough time.”
Speaking on his Tuskers’ teammate Pathan said: “The boys in the Kandy Tusker outfit are very good. They are eager and not only young but also with ample talent. With a minimum of 3 to 4 overseas players in one side, through experience (in playing in the LPL) these young players will learn immensely and it will help their game and confidence.”
“What the Indian Premier League (IPL) has done for India will be happen through the Lanka Premier League (LPL) for Sri Lanka. There will be issues but in years to come the tournament will grow,” Pathan said, adding, “Sri Lanka has some lovely pitches in Colombo, Kandy, Galle and Hambantota. The county had produced some outstanding cricketers in the recent past such as Lasith Malinga, Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela, Jayawardene, Sanath Jayasuriya and even Kusal Janith Perera is outstanding. I have a special love for Sri Lanka where I played my last T20I and ODI at Pallekele. I took five wickets in the ODI and three wickets in the T20 and won the Man of the Match in which were my last matches.”
Post retirement Pathan has continued his involvement in cricket while venturing into new territory.
“I am with Star Sports Commentary team for the last three years. I am also involved in acting in a new film with Vikram who is the main actor. I am involved in mentoring Jammu Kashmir Cricket Association, and maybe I can return to first class cricket but not international cricket at the moment,” said.