Lanka Premier League Player Draft pushed to October 19 due to Covid-19 Threat

Written by Sumit Seth

The growing numbers in the Covid-19 cluster has forced Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) to reschedule Lanka Premier League (LPL) ‘Player Draft’ for October 19, Cricket Age reliably learns.

The ‘Player Draft’ was scheduled to take place on Friday (9 October).

The outbreak that surfaced this week has grown to 1,034 cases with more than 2,000 others asked to quarantine at home. It is centered around a garment factory in the Colombo suburbs where the first patient and many others worked. Police have widened the curfew in the suburbs where many of the patients live. Schools have been closed, public gatherings were ordered halted and restrictions were imposed on public transport. The cluster comes after the Indian Ocean island nation reported going two months without any community infections,

“We were prepared for player draft on October 9. However, after the sudden outbreak, the franchise owners requested to pushed it by few more days, as they need some more time to reassess the situation” a top SLC official told Cricket Age. 

Sri Lanka has long been considered as one of the safest country, amid the worldwide Covid-19 threat. The country has so far reported only 4,252 cases, including 13 deaths, which is less than even a third-tear city in India. However, the latest outbreak has once again scared the nation and it is likely to impact LPL as well.

“The tournament (LPL) is still scheduled for November 21, as we believes that if the government arrest the cluster it might become normal in a few weeks. The worst scenario is we might have to postpone it or cancel it for next year. But as of now, the tournament is still on” the top official added.

The League will consist of five franchises, whilst each can buy up to six international players. All five franchises have been sold, however the Covid-19 scare proved a stumbling block in locking the deal.

“Again, due to uncertainty over the crisis, the parties, who have almost confirmed to buy franchises, are reluctant to lock the deal and deposit the money, which is quite obvious. And, it’s (Covid-19 situation) not under our control also” the top SLC official concluded.

Disclaimer: The story has been updated as per the latest updates from the Sri Lanka Cricket.

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Sumit Seth