Sri Lanka Cricket outlaws shadowy show | Sunday Observer

Sri Lanka Cricket outlaws shadowy show

Sri Lanka cricketers Angelo Mathews, Dimuth Karunaratne and Thisara Perera come together at a practice session in the hills of Pallekele, Kandy in preparation for what lies ahead
Sri Lanka cricketers Angelo Mathews, Dimuth Karunaratne and Thisara Perera come together at a practice session in the hills of Pallekele, Kandy in preparation for what lies ahead

A move to conduct an illegal showbiz cricket series featuring former ODI players in Anuradhapura has been rubbished by Sri Lanka Cricket and subdequently abandoned by its shadowy organisers.

The tournament that was to be run bordering the lines of the Indian Premier League (IPL) was to be the franchise property of an unnamed “outside party” and worked off from June 25 to July 6.

It was to have teams with rousing names like Hurricane Blasters, Royal Lions and Giant Legends and among the players reportedly lined up were the retired duo of Ajantha Mendis and Nuwan Kulasekera, Chamara Kapugedera, Chamara Silva, Schitra Senanayake, Dhammika Prasad and Asela Gunaratne.

But the players have told Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) they were unaware of any tournament.

Sri Lanka Cricket saw the tournament as unworthy of any status and said none of their contracted players were permitted to play in it.

“We did not sanction this tournament and have already conveyed it to the International Cricket Council (ICC), our stakeholders and the clubs as well as the players. As far as we know it was to be handled by a complete outsider that is not part of the set-up,” said Sri Lanka Cricket Chief Executive Officer Ashley de Silva.

Sri Lanka has for the past decade been struggling with the idea of conducting a showpiece cricket series but have yet to come up with anything worthy of market value that has given rise to miniature tournaments attempting to fill any void and enticing players who have had very little to look forward to.

But the keepers of the sport in the country now believe it has come the closest to organizing a T20 bash with international flavour scheduled for August in which five teams will be in the fray and entitled to field four foreign players each.

Touted as the Lanka Premier League (LPL), the tournament according to SLC has already being successfully marketed and expected to be unveiled next month.

“We have called for media and marketing rights and there has been a very good and positive response,” said De Silva.

The LPL is also been looked at as the best bet to entice a possible staging of the rich pickings Indian IPL which has shown interest in renting out Sri Lanka for a scaled down event due to the coronavirus taking a heavy toll in the sub-continent.

First Class cricket in Sri Lanka is scheduled to restart next month with the continuation of the Premier League for domestic clubs that came to a halt in March.

 

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