Lanka Premier League (LPL) has not even started but the tournament has made it to the news several times for various wrong reasons. After delays and a spate of pullouts, LPL’s image has taken further hit with the International Cricket Council (ICC) investigating an alleged attempt to fix the matches in the competition.
The inaugural edition of the tournament is scheduled to start on Thursday (November 26). The complaint alleges a former national cricketer approached a LPL player, and is being looked at by the ICC’s Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU), the mass-circulating Lankadeepa said.
“The former national player who allegedly made the approach is currently overseas,” the newspaper said, adding that he had once been accused, but later cleared, of match-fixing charges by the ICC.
The governing body of the game has said it would not discuss any ongoing investigation. The Sri Lanka board’s anti-corruption unit has declined to comment too. The LPL will be played without spectators in the stands but under the close scrutiny of the ICC anti-corruption officials, the national board and the sports ministry.
Last week, Sri Lanka’s former fast bowling coach Nuwan Zoysa said he would appeal a decision of an ICC-appointed tribunal which found him guilty of three offences relating to match-fixing after a two-year investigation. The match-fixing menace has become a major problem for Sri Lanka cricket.
Last year, they introduced a law against corruption in sport after then-sports minister Harin Fernando declared that the ICC considered Sri Lanka as the world’s most corrupt cricket nation.
LPL finally set to start:
LPL 2020 was initially scheduled to be played in August. However, its start was delayed three times because of coronavirus restrictions imposed by authorities. Apart from the delays, LPL has suffered several setbacks. Several high-profile names have pulled out of the competition. The likes of Chris Gayle, Lasith Malina, Liam Plunkett, Mohammad Hafeez, Faf du Plessis are some of the big names who have pulled out of the tournament.
A total of five franchisee teams, named after Colombo, Kandy, Galle, Dambulla and Jaffna will compete in 23 matches. Colombo will take on Kandy in the opening match of LPL at the Mahinda Rajapaksa International Cricket Stadium in Hambantota on November 26. Every day there will be doubleheaders till the semi-finals on December 13 and 14. The final will be played on December 16.