The Lankan Premier League (LPL), a franchise-based T20 tournament, started with five teams in November-December last year, where the Jaffna Stallions finished as the champions.The IPG Group, the organizer of the LPL, hope that the second edition of the tournament can be held in July-August this year.
But before the decision of the second edition was finalized, the 5-team tournament became a 3-team tournament. Because two franchises have moved away from LPL. However, the organizers say that they have basically dropped the two teams from the previous edition to take two new teams instead.
The IPG Group said the Colombo Kings and Dambulla Vikings, who played in the first edition of the tournament, have been eliminated for breach of contract. However, the franchises claim that they themselves have terminated their contract with the LPL.
Ravin Wickramaratne, vice-president of the Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC), who is in charge of the LPL, told the media that the board’s stand on the tournament would not change even if the two teams are reduced. In other words, the second edition of the LPL will be held from July 30 to August 22 as per schedule.
Regarding the two franchises, Wickramaratne said, “The agreement between the two franchises has been terminated. But I’ve got a few more potential franchises. Their details have been sent to the ICC for verification. I will not say right now who the franchisees are. However, the previous three teams are in the tournament.”
The Dambulla Vikings finished second in the league in the first edition of the 5-team tournament and played in the semifinals. The team is owned by Sachin Joshi and Viking Ventures. The Colombo Kings, on the other hand, also played in the semifinals. They are owned by Murfad Mostafa and Faza Group.
Meanwhile, Wickramaratne has confirmed that there will be five teams in the second edition of the LPL even if the two teams have been withdrawn. Although it was rumored a few days ago, the upcoming LPL event will be with 6 teams, but it is not going to turn up this time.
The Sri Lanka cricket team is not performing as expected nowadays. Hence it is understood that for better preparation for the forthcoming ICC T20 World Cup, the Lanka Board is adamant to conduct the LPL this year.
The second edition of LPL is expected to start soon. For further updates on it, stay on Baji!