Cricket

Lanka Premier League postponed to November-December due to packed cricket calendar

The Lanka Premier League has been postponed until at least late November, thanks largely to competing cricket tournaments or series being scheduled for the original window. The second edition of the LPL was supposed to run from July 30 to August 22.

According to tournament director Ravin Wickramaratne, the announcement of the Kashmir Premier League (set to run from August 6 to 17), the CPL (which requires players to be free from August 12), the ECB’s The Hundred (which runs from July 21 to August 21), and another possible international series involving Bangladesh, have forced the LPL tournament organisers to rethink their timing.

The first edition of the LPL featured a significant number of Pakistan players, but occasionally, teams were unable to field four foreign players. The unavailability of Pakistan and West Indies players in particular, would seriously hamper the Sri Lankan league.

The LPL is also fighting fires on the franchise front. They have officially terminated two of the five franchises that took part last year, Dambulla Viiking and Colombo Kings both being cut from the second edition.

A third franchise, Jaffna Stallions, are also on thin ice according to tournament organisers. They claim that Stallions’ owners have not been forthcoming with the Know Your Client (KYC) details that franchises are required to provide in order to be vetted by the ICC, while the franchise has also not been prompt with payments to the tournament organisers. Stallions, meanwhile, contend that they have been unwilling to make payments to the league with so much uncertainty surrounding the second edition’s timing. Stallions had won last year’s tournament.

A postponement to November would mean that the tournament will be played soon after the T20 World Cup. It also means the island’s north-east monsoon is likely to be in operation. Last year’s edition was also played in November, but was only occasionally hampered by the weather.

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