SLPL second season draft on 14 July

Tuesday, 9 July 2013 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

COLOMBO: The player draft of the second Sri Lanka Premier League (SLPL) season is scheduled for 14 July in Colombo and is expected to contain several international players, including a strong South African contingent, according to the league’s chief executive officer Ajith Jayasekara. The league is scheduled between 10 August and 7 September. “We have the entire South African squad with the exception of Dale Steyn and Jacques Kallis lined up to take part,” Jayasekara said. “Pakistan has also shown their intention to send their present lot of cricketers but the participation of most of their key players depends on whether their tour to Zimbabwe takes place.” South Africa are due to tour Sri Lanka from 20 July to 6 August for five ODIs and three T20s and there is a possibility that members of the visiting team will stay back to participate in the league. “With the exception of England and India, players from all the other Test-playing nations have shown interest in participating in the league,” Jayasekara said. “Even a top performer like Chris Gayle has expressed his intention to take part once the Caribbean Premier League ends on 24 August.” Other West Indian players like fast bowlers Fidel Edwards and Jerome Taylor, as well as Australians such as Doug Bollinger, Brad Hodge and Shaun Tait are among those who are expected to participate. The list also includes Mushfiqur Rahim, the Bangladesh captain. Jayasekara also said the franchises would reveal the list of players they are releasing by 8 July. The draft rules allow a franchise to pick a minimum of 19 and a maximum of 25 players. If they stick to 19 players, the franchises have to pick seven international cricketers, nine domestic cricketers and three under-21 cricketers. If the squad comprises 25 members, the numbers change to 10, 11 and four respectively. Last season, 56 international players, mostly from Australia and Pakistan, and 90 local players were drafted in the league. Jayasekara brushed aside reports of problems with player payments in the first season. “We are perhaps the only league in the world to pay the players fees on time. Even the IPL has faltered on its payments. Some of the players who represented Kochi Tuskers Kerala have yet to receive their money and most of the players who took part in the Bangladesh Premier League have not been paid.” Like last season, officials of the ICC’s Anti-Corruption and Security Unit will monitor all matches of the second season of the SLPL. SLC is also looking to increase the number of venues this season and matches are scheduled in Hambantota, Galle, Dambulla and Kurunegala, apart from the R. Premadasa Stadium in Colombo and Pallekele Stadium in Kandy. Jayasekera said the SLC was also exploring the possibility of hosting matches at Moratuwa and Matara. “We want to take the matches to the provinces that are being represented in the tournament,” Jayasekera said.