A total of 258 local players were included in the concluded ‘Lanka Premier League Player Draft,’ which was held yesterday (19th October), with the participation of the five franchises of the tournament and the SLC officials.
The local players went into the draft under four categories, and all categorized players were displayed during the draft, thus giving every player an equal opportunity of getting selected.
The selection of the players to their teams was the ‘sole right’ of the franchises, except for the Local Icon player, who was assigned by the SLC for the respective franchises.
The local players were categorized under the below-given criteria.
Under the ‘Gold Local’, a total of 21 players went into the draft, and the said players were chosen from the SLC’s centrally contracted National Players and SLC’s contracted Domestic Players.
Under the ‘Classic Local’, a total of 36 players went into the draft, and it included SLC’s centrally contracted National Players and SLC’s contracted Domestic Players.
Under the ‘Emerging Local’ category, a total of 109 players nominated by the coaches of the High Performance Center of the SLC were included in the draft, whilst it was mandatory for all teams to select 2 players, each from this category.
Under the ‘Supplementary Local category’, a total of 92 players, were included in the draft and it consisted both Domestic Club Cricketers and Emerging Cricketers and was nominated by the High Performance Center of the SLC and the Major Clubs.
Under the draft rules, it was mandatory for all teams to select 4 players, each from this category.
Chris Gayle, Andre Russell, Shahid Afridi, Faf du Plessis and Carlos Brathwaite are among the high-profile foreign players that have been drafted into LPL teams for the tournament that is set to begin on November 21.
Former international captains Angelo Mathews, Faf du Plessis and Jamaican all-rounder Andre Russell are some of the marquee names picked by the Colombo Kings franchisee in the Lanka Premier League Players’ Draft on Monday. The tournament will be played between November 21-December 13 at two venues — Pallekele International Cricket Stadium in Kandy and Mahinda Rajapaksa International Cricket Stadium in Hambantota. A total of 23 matches will be played in all in the T20 slug fest in the island nation.
Two Indian players, former KKR batsman Manvinder Bisla and CSK pacer MS Gony have also been picked from the draft. Dav Whatmore is a part of the coaching set-up of the Colombo franchisee in the T20 League.
Former Sri Lanka players Hashan Tillakaratne will coach Kandy Tuskers, while Thilina Kandamby will coach Jaffna and English coach John Lewis is involved with Dambulla Hawks. Dav Whatmore, the former Sri Lanka coach who led them to the 1996 World Cup victory, was not seen at the draft, but is linked to the Colombo Kings franchise.
The final squads are as follows:
Jaffna Stallions Thisara Perera, Dawid Malan, Wanindu Hasaranga, Shoaib Malik, Usman Shinwari, Avishka Fernando, Dhananjaya de Silva, Suranga Lakmal, Binura Fernando, Asif Ali, Minod Bhanuka, Chaturanga de Silva, Mahesh Theekshana, Charith Asalanka, Nuvinidu Fernando, Kanagaratnam Kapilraj, Theivendiram Dinoshan, Yiyakanth Yiyaskanth
Kandy Tuskers Chris Gayle, Kusal Perera, Liam Plunkett, Wahab Riaz, Kusal Mendis, Nuwan Pradeep, Seekkuge Prasanna, Asela Gunaratne, Naveen-Ul-Haq, Kamindu Mendis, Dilruwan Perera, Priyamal Perera, Kavishka Anjula, Lasith Embuldeniya, Lahiru Samarakoon, Nishan Fernando, Chamika Edirisinghe, Ishan Jayaratne
Colombo Kings Andre Russell, Faf du Plessis, Angelo Mathews, Manpreet Singh Gony, Manvinder Bisla, Isuru Udana, Dinesh Chandimal, Amila Aponso, Ravinderpal Singh, Ashan Priyanjan, Dushmantha Chameera, Jeffrey Vandersay, Thikshila de Silva, Tharindu Kaushal, Lahiru Udara, Himesh Ramanayake, Kalana Perera, Tharindu Rathnayaka, Navod Paranawithana
Galle Gladiators Lasith Malinga, Shahid Afridi, Colin Ingram, Mohammad Amir, Hazratullah Zazai, Danushka Gunathilaka, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Akila Dananjaya, Milinda Siriwardana, Sarfaraz Ahmed (wk), Azam Khan, Lakshan Sandakan, Shehan Jayasuriya, Asitha Fernando, Nuwan Thushara, Mohomed Shiraz, Dhananjaya Lakshan, Chanaka Ruwansiri, Sahan Arachchi