By Sa’adi Thawfeeq
Indian and Afghanistan cricketers were the first to arrive in Sri Lanka to take part in the 15-day Lanka Premier League (LPL) that will take place at the Mahinda Rajapaksa International Cricket Stadium in
Sooriyawewa from 22 November to 16 December.
The three players to arrive yesterday were former Indian fast-bowling all-rounder Irfan Pathan and Afghanistan’s 21-year-old all-rounder Naveen-ul-Haq and 18-year-old wicket-keeper/batsman Rahmanullah Gurbaz. The three of them will represent Kandy Tuskers in the LPL.
Sri Lanka Cricket CEO Ashley de Silva said that the rest of the overseas players will arrive from today in staggered form on different dates and times. A total of 30 overseas players will be seen in action during the tournament with each of the five competing sides being allowed to pick six of which only four can play at any given time.
Players currently involved in the ongoing Pakistan Super League will arrive only after the final on 17 October.
The players in the PSL are:
- Lahore – Mohammad Hafeez, Samit Patel, Usman Shinwari, Seekkuge Prasanna
- Islamabad – Asif Ali, Dawid Malan
- Karachi – Mohammad Amir
- Multan – Shahid Afridi, Brendan Taylor
- Peshawar – Wahab Riaz, Shoaib Malik
- Quetta – Sarfraz Ahmed, Azam Khan
“Initially the players and officials as they arrive have to do two PCR tests one on arrival at the airport and one at the hotel when they check-in. They will be quarantined for three days and on the third day once the results of the test is out they can do self-training and on the sixth day they have to do another test and if it is negative they can get onto the field and carry out training after the seventh day,” explained De Silva.
“All five teams will be staying at the Shangri-La Hotel in Hambantota in a bio-bubble. They will travel from the hotel to the stadium for training and for the match on match days and back to the hotel,” he said.
Enlightening further De Silva said that the Match awards during matches will be carried out to a system similar to the IPL.
“There won’t be any media personnel allowed to cover the matches. We will be having our Sri Lanka Cricket cameramen at the venue to take pictures and we will share it with the media during matches and training,” De Silva said.
It was the same procedure adopted at the recently concluded IPL that was held in the UAE at three venues – Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah.