Top players could miss opening LPL matches

Friday, 23 October 2020 00:10 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Some players involved in the IPL (left) and PSL (right) may miss the opening games of the LPL

  • Due to IPL, PSL commitments

By Sa’adi Thawfeeq

Some of the world’s top T20 cricketers picked to play in the Lanka Premier League (LPL) may miss the opening matches if their team’s figure in the finals of the Indian Premier League (IPL) and the Pakistan Super League (PSL), said Tournament Director Ravin Wickramaratne.

The LPL is scheduled to commence on 21 November with the match between Colombo Kings and Galle Gladiators.

Both sides have players who are currently involved in the IPL and who will be involved in the PSL that is due to run from 14 to 17 November.

Colombo Kings have in their line-up South African captain Faf du Plessis and Andre Russell, while Galle Gladiators has Pakistanis Shahid Afridi, Mohammad Amir, Sarfraz Ahmed and Azam Khan.

Du Plessis plays for Chennai Super Kings in the IPL and the former champions are unlikely to qualify for the play-offs as they are currently lying at the bottom of the table. Russell represents Kolkata Knight Riders who are fourth in the table.

Other LPL players currently involved in the IPL are Chris Gayle picked by Kandy Tuskers who plays for Kings XI Punjab currently lying fifth in the standings, David Miller picked by Dambulla Hawks (for Rajasthan Royals who are placed sixth), and Sri Lanka’s Isuru Udana representing Colombo Kings (for Royal Challengers Bangalore who are placed second).

Other Pakistani cricketers who are likely to be involved in the PSL and picked to play in the LPL are: Shoaib Malik and Asif Ali (both Jaffna Stallions), and Wahab Riaz (Kandy Tuskers).

“We cannot say the big players will be there for the opening matches because some of them are coming after the IPL and some of them after the PSL,” said Wickramaratne.

“Probably if they play in the IPL final and PSL final they will miss the initial matches. They are finishing on 17 October and we are starting on 21 October. They are coming from bubble to bubble then they can play after 72 hours,” he said.

The captains for the five respective LPL teams will be nominated by the respective franchisees.

Wickramaratne said that due to the present situation in the country there will be no big opening and closing ceremonies.

“I don’t think with the current COVID-19 scenario you can have a grand opening and finale and all that. This situation does will not permit us to do that. It will be mostly on a low key basis,” Wickramaratne said.