Lanka Premier League Postponed till november

Written by N Krishnamurthy

The much hyped Lanka Premier League has been postponed due to logistic reasons amid Covid-19 scare and is likely to be held sometime in November, Cricket Age reliably learns. The LPL was said to be held from 28 August to 30 September and involves a total of 23 league matches to be played across four international venues in Sri Lanka.

“The decision was taken by SLC in consideration of the health guidelines stipulated by the Ministry of Health subsequent to the meeting held with the Health Ministry Authorities. We had a discussion with the health authorities today as well and according to them  the 14 day quarantine period for anyone entering the country is compulsory. So it’s difficult to play the tournament fulfilling this requirement” a top SLC Official told Cricket Age.

As per the SLC claims, a total of 93 international cricketers, including England’s World Cup-winning pacer Liam Plunkett and New Zealand seamer Tim Southee were listed for the inaugural edition of the LPL. In addition, Dubai-based sports broadcasting company Innovative Production Group (IPG), was recently also awarded “total rights” of the LPL for five years.

With the tournament scheduled to kick off from August 28, a 14-day quarantine rule would have been an uphill task for the organisers. SLC vice-president Ravin Wickramaratne said pushing the tournament back by few weeks was not possible as the dates would have clashed with Indian Premier League (IPL), which has got Indian government’s nod to kick off from September 19 in UAE

“We’re not the experts, so we had to go with what the health ministry is telling us. There’s a window from November 20th to December 12th, so that is what we are planning. It was not feasible to simply push the tournament back several weeks, as it would then clash with the proposed dates for the IPL, which the LPL is unlikely to be able to compete with in terms of viewer interest.

“We have asked the health ministry to try and be more flexible going forward, If they have to do a 14-day quarantine for the Bangladesh tour, then the costs of that will have to be borne by their board, and it becomes difficult,” SLC vice-president Ravin Wickramaratne told ESPNcricinfo.

Now, SLC eyes on mid November window to organize the league after the end of the Indian Premier League (IPL). The IPL 2020 to be played from 19th September to 10th November in UAE.

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.

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N Krishnamurthy