Although the Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) had planned to extend the Lanka Premier League (LPL) to six teams from 2021, it will now hold this year’s edition limited to five and the board is in process of finalising all arrangements with event holder Dubai-based IPG (Innovation Production Group) for the upcoming season.
Notably, the second edition of the LPL will begin from July 30 and will run till August 22.
Speaking to DailyFT, Ashley De Silva, SLC CEO said that they are in the process of finalising all arrangements IPG.
“We are in the process of making all the arrangements and having discussions with the event holder and we are trying to finalise the plans quickly as possible,” said De Silva.
Commenting on the venue for the 2021 edition, he said: “With regard to the venue we are having some discussions internally, we need to also discuss it with our event holder before we decide on it. Most probably we would stick to Hambantota, which is one option. We have to take a decision on whether we are going to play the matches at two locations or one. If it is two, it will be at Kandy and Hambantota. If it is one, we will have to take a call on the venue.”
Further commenting on speculations regarding postponement of the tournament due to Covid, Ashely said:“It was anyway initially planned to be held in July-August but we were wondering whether we will have sufficient time to get it organised. Our event holder they said that they are ready to go, therefore we took a decision to go ahead with the August window.”
“The window that is available to us is July-August. That is the date we have reserved when we drew up our FTP (Future Tours Program). It is something which we have reserved for the next five years. When we discuss and schedule matches in the FTP we kind of keep that window locked down. We don’t schedule any games with any other country but keep it free for us to play the LPL,” added De Silva.
“We cannot be shifting it around whether all the overseas players are going to be available or not, we have to go ahead with it. There are so many players playing T20 cricket around the world so it is a matter of finding about 25 to 30 players. It is not difficult for us to get 25-30 good players to take part in this tournament. All the local cricketers will be available,” he said.
“The player draft – we will outsource that operation for an organisation to handle it. But getting the confirmation of the players, SLC will do it. Talking to the international players will be done by SLC. We will then tell the event holder the players who are available for the player draft.”