The Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) has decided to postpone it’s inaugural T20 Lanka Premier League (LPL) by two weeks, following the government’s decision to delay the reopening of the country’s international airport due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Cricket Age reliably learns..
The much-awaited league was originally scheduled to start from August 8. The SLC has already received the green signal from the sports ministry to host the tournament, but the league’s fate depends on the government’s decision to open the country’s borders for foreign arrivals.
“After government’s decision to delay in reopening the borders, we have postponed the league by two weeks” a top SLC official told Cricket Age.
Accordingly, Now the league will be played from August 21 and will continue till September 11. The SLC has increased the number of matches as well.
“Now, a total number of 23 matches will be played in the league. Earlier we were planning, anticipating that the Indian team would arrive in Sri Lanka in the second half of the August. However, recently, we have been informed by the BCCI that the tour won’t be possible in August. So, Now, we are planning a full fledged LPL” the top official added.
The SLC has already started approaching overseas players through their agents and has written to the BCCI also, regarding the required NOC for the some of the players, who have shown interest in the league.
“Sri Lanka has done very well in containing the coronavirus as opposed to other countries in the region, and as such we have had a lot of interest from foreign players in taking part in the tournament” the top official added further.
Sri Lanka has just over 2000 coronavirus cases out of which more than 1700 have recovered.
The LPL will see five teams taking part, with SLC still accepting tenders regarding franchise ownership. Players will be selected through an auction process similar to the one popularised by the Indian Premier League, with each team allowed a maximum of six foreign players in a squad and four in the playing XI.
The tournament will be played in either double or single round-robin format, followed by semi-finals and final.