The player draft of the inaugural edition of the Lanka Premier League (LPL) will be held on October 1st, and around 140 foreign players have been shortlisted for the draft.
Five franchises will play in the inaugural edition of LPL which is scheduled to run from November 14th to December 6th. The tournament was to be held in August but postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) said in a statement.
The Galle-based franchise has already announced its name as “Galle Gladiators” and is owned by Omar Associated, who are also the owners of the Quetta Gladiators team of the Pakistan Super League. The official names and owners of the other franchises have not been revealed yet.
In an interview with YFM, Sri Lanka Cricket Vice-President Ravin Wickramaratne revealed how the player draft is worked out.
Each franchise can buy up to six international players and is allowed to play 4 foreigners in a match. A total of 30 international cricketers and 65 local cricketers are expected to make up the five teams (19 players per squad – 13 local players and 6 foreign players), which will be named based on the cities Colombo, Galle, Kandy, Jaffna and Dambulla.
Participation of Foreign Players
After the decision to reschedule the LPL Tournament to November 14th was made last month, more than 400 foreign players have made themselves available to be picked by franchises of LPL. Out of those players, the organizers have shortlisted 140 players for the player draft, which will be happening on October 1st.
Here are a few notable players from those shortlisted names.
- West Indies Players – Chris Gayle, Devon Thomas, Kemar Roach, Dwayne Smith, Shannon Gabriel, Dinesh Ramdin, Darren Bravo, Darren Sammy, Johnson Charles
- Bangladeshi Players – Shakib Al Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim, Mahmudullah Riyad, Rubbel Hussain, Tamim Iqbal, Liton Das
- Pakistani Players – Shoaib Malik, Kamran Akmal, Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Nawaz, Shahid Afridi, Wahab Riaz, Imad Wasim
- South African Players – Temba Bavuma, Wayne Parnell, Vernon Philander, Collin Ingram, Rilee Rossouw
- Afghan Players – Mohammad Shahzad, Mohammad Nabi, Naveen-ul-Haq
- England Players – Ravi Bopara, Jonny Bairstow, Luke Wright, Tymal Mills
- Indian Players – Munaf Patel, Praveen Kumar, Shadab Jakati, Manpreet Gony
- New Zealand Players – Corey Anderson, Colin Munro
- Zimbabwean Players – Sikandar Raza
- Ireland Players – Kevin o’Brian
Interestingly, 4 Indian players have also made themselves available for the draft, and them being picked by any of the franchises that could mean a major advantage in terms of TV and digital audiences.
Participation of Local Players
Sri Lanka Cricket have also shortlisted around 150 other local players, out of whom 65 will be selected for five franchises.
The breakdown of the drafted Sri Lankan players is as follows –
- 30 – Centrally-contracted players
- 50 – Other players contracted by SLC
- 48 – Players nominated by club (2 players per each club)
- 20 – Players selected from high-performance center
Each franchise will have one icon player as their local brand ambassador. Out of the current lot, 5 of most prolific T20 players, Angelo Mathews, Lasith Malinga, Kusal Perera, Thisara Perera and Dasun Shanaka have been selected to represent each franchise.
Wickaramaratne revealed that Lasith Malinga has already been approached to be the icon player of the Galle Gladiators by its owners, Omar Associates. If this is the case, the Galle Gladiators team will be equipped with two T20I World Cup winning captains – Malinga and Shahid Afridi.