Sri Lanka Cricket all set to postpone Lanka Premier League 2021
The T20 competition was scheduled to get underway later this month.
Updated - Jul 9, 2021 5:30 pm
With the cricket calendar being jam-packed, dark clouds are looming over the 2021 edition of the Lanka Premier League (LPL) 2021. The T20 competition was scheduled to be played from July 30 to August 22 at the Mahinda Rajapaksa International Cricket Stadium in Hambantota. However, the dates are set to be shifted as the second season of LPL has been postponed.
An official announcement regarding the same is expected to come soon. The absence of foreign stars is understood to be the main reason behind the postponement of the tournament. Apart from this, there are also some management issues. LPL is apparently a joint venture of Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) and Dubai-based Innovative Production Group FZE (IPG).
According to a report in Cricbuzz, SLC and IPG had terminated contracts of three of the five teams – Colombo Kings and Dambulla Viiking Jaffna Stallionswhich – which featured in last year’s competition. Moreover, the KYCs of the three new franchises are still awaiting clearance from the International Cricket Council (ICC). If that’s not enough, there’s also uncertainty over the participation of the local players, who have been at loggerheads with the board over central contracts.
We have thought the postponement was the best solution: SLC official
“It (the postponement) is not about the participation of the foreign players alone. There is an element of uncertainty over the Lankan players too. So we have thought the postponement was the best solution at this stage. Besides, there are also issues over the pandemic situation in the island,” said an official involved in the league.
The reports further suggest that the decision was taken in consultation with Namal Rajapaksa, the Sports Minister of Sri Lanka. SLC is now expected to conduct the tournament in November-December later this year but the organisers have multiple obstacles to cross before that.
Meanwhile, the first edition of the Lanka Premier League took place last year with many foreign stars also plying their trade in the competition. As many as five teams featured in the league with Jaffna Stallions emerging champions. However, the second season of the Sri Lankan competition won’t go as per the schedule and it would be interesting to see how SLC will tackle this challenge.