The inaugural edition of Lanka Premier League (LPL) was supposed to kickstart on the 21st of November following a long series of postponements and rescheduling due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Not only the player draft was finally possible but also the squads for all five franchises were announced. Nevertheless, the competition could further stand delayed.
The likes of Chris Gayle, Darren Sammy, Irfan Pathan, Shahid Afridi, and Shakib Al-Hasan were part of the player drafts with Pathan being the latest overseas signing, going to Kandy Tuskers. A total of 30 foreign players would be partaking in the LPL 2020, spanning till the 14th of December and competing in 23 games. The five participating teams are Colombo Kings, Dambulla Hawks, Galle Gladiators, Jaffna Stallions, and Kandy Tuskers.
Sri Lanka Cricket Secretary Mohan de Silva expressed his doubtfulness about LPL 2020 due to the health authorities not granting permission. De Silva conceded that Monday would be the latest before they postpone it and that will come at an extra cost along with the player availability coming into question as the commitments will change if they have international fixtures that time.
“We are a little worried about this LPL, as the health authorities have not still granted us the permission. Monday (today) would be the latest, otherwise we may have to postpone it. Postponement means a lot of extra cost and player availability will become a question again, as they will have other commitments if the dates are changed,” De Silva said as quoted by India Today.
Sri Lanka Cricket Secretary reveals having plenty of discussions with the health authorities about LPL:
Mohan De Silva underlined having discussions with the health authorities about the commute from the airports to the hotel and then to the bubble. The same has been carried with planning along with facilitating security, army, and health facilities. He added that most of the players are right now with the IPL franchises and would be moving from bubble to bubble.
“In fact, we had a number of discussions with the health authorities before writing to them for permission. The cricket will take place only in Hambantota and Pallekele, where the players will go into a bio-bubble. They will travel from Mattala airport to their hotel and from their hotel to the ground and back again. All this has been planned and discussed earlier with the authorities, including the security, army and health. Most of the players taking part in the IPL are coming from bubble to bubble,” he added.
Sri Lanka Cricket CEO Ashley De Silva conceded that they have decided the dates for LPL, having also called for health insurance. At present, they are waiting for permission from the health authorities and should get the response on Monday.
“We have decided on the dates and we have sought health clearance. We have written to the health authorities and are waiting for their response. Hopefully, we should get it on Monday,” Ashley De Silva stated.