As per the latest reports, Lanka Premier League (LPL) 2021, which was going to commence on July 30, is now set to be postponed. The Sri Lankan T20 tournament was scheduled to be held at the Mahinda Rajapaksa International Cricket Stadium in Hambantota.
The dates of the second edition of the tournament are likely to be shifted to the November-December window, although an official statement from the Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) is yet to be made.
There are several hurdles in the way of the SLC if they want to go ahead with the tournament. Major factors responsible for the change in the plans regarding LPL 2021 is firstly the absence of foreign players in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Secondly, the issues between the joint venture of Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) and Dubai-based Innovative Production Group FZE (IPG), the rights holders of the LPL. There is also the added issue of the absence of three of the five franchises competing in LPL. Reportedly, SLC and IPG have terminated the contracts of three teams — Colombo Kings and Dambulla Viiking on June 26 and Jaffna Stallions. The KYC approval of the three new managements is still pending.
“It (the postponement) is not about the participation of the foreign players alone. There is an element of uncertainty over the Lankan players too. So we have thought the postponement was the best solution at this stage,” Cricbuzz quoted an official involved in the league as saying. “Besides, there are also issues over the pandemic situation in the island.”
If the reports are to be believed, the decision was taken in consultation with Namal Rajapaksa, the Sports Minister of Lanka, who supported the launch of the inaugural season of LPL last year.
More details on the matter are awaited…