Why Relunching LPL in August is best strategic decision for the SLC?

Written by N Krishnamurthy

Amid the ongoing Covid-19 outbreak, the Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) has decided to go ahead with ambitious Lanka Premier League (LPL) in the second week of the August.

On May 18, Cricket Age had published that the board president Shammi Silva has officially instructed CEO Ashley De Silva to start the process.

“Mr. Ashley is instructed to approach the foreign players, Sponsors, Interested parties who wants to buy the teams” a top SLC administrator had told Cricket Age on May 18.

If everything goes well, the LPL will be consisting 5 teams and will be played in the duration of 23 days.

Originally launched in 2012 as Sri Lanka Premier League (SLPL), the tournament was aimed to be Island’s own version of Indian Premier League (IPL). However, due to the lack of the Sponsorship and foreign players, the board couldn’t continue with the league.

Now, 8 years later, under the supervision of Shammi Silva, the board is optimistic in successfully launching the league in a new flavour and updated version!

And, looking at the present scenario, relaunching the LPL could be one of the best strategic decision for SLC in fulfilling board’s longstanding dream too have it’s own T20 league.

Here are the few factors that can make LPL a mega hit:

Covid19 effect: The entire World has been under lockdown since last three months. In a never seen or heard before crisis, the survival has become the most immediate priority for every country and it’s citizens, irrespective of whether they are from Superpower America or from Uganda! Obiously, the Sport has also been facing it’s biggest challenge in centuries!

So, now, as after three month long trauma, the things are heading towards normalcy, organiziing any sort of Sporting event will be heartly welcomed!

The Scheduling of the LPL: The scheduling of the LPL is itself a big plus point for SLC. If we thinks about cricket, then India emerges as the flag bearer of the game. However, due to it’s population and circumstances, the superpower of World cricket is not in the situation to resume cricket in the country. Also, as rainy season has just begun in India, even if we forgets Covid-19 scare, the BCCI won’t be in a situation to resume cricket at least until September.

Not only India, other cricket playing nation’s are also not in a situation to resume cricket in next few months, apart from England. However, England is also preparing for a test series against Pakistan in Biological environment, which does not gives guarantee for a successful even and has already been termed as a high risk experiment, by the experts!

Most important fact is that cricket fans around the globe are desperate to watch any sort of live match. It automatically gives LPL a good chance to make it’s impact, not only in Sri Lanka, but in other countries as well.

Easy to bring foreign players: The SLC had tried it’s best in 2012 itself to bring world class foreign cricketers for the LPL, in a attempt to make it more lucrative for the World cricket. However, with the advent of plenty of other Top 20 leagues, SLC found it impossible to attract world Cricket’s Top T20 players for the LPL. However, as there will be no T20 league in any part of the world until September at least, SLC can attract a number of top players for the LPL.

A boon to SLC TV rights deal: The Covid-19 has completely frozen SLC TV rights deal process, which was originally scheduled to take place in April. As entire World was on it’s kneels, SLC could not move an inch, in finalizing the deal. However, if SLC can successfully plan the LPL and then India series, it will be getting more lucrative offers for TV rights for sure.


About the author

N Krishnamurthy