Sri Lanka Cricket likely to postpone the inaugural Lanka Premier League (LPL)

The tournament is scheduled for a start on November 21.

Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

The inaugural edition of the Lanka Premier League (LPL) is again in danger as the authorities are yet to receive permission from the government to host the marquee league despite the restrictions due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) had already postponed and rescheduled the league two times since May and is hoping to kick-start it from November 21.

The franchises have already picked their squads in the auction and as many as 30 overseas players will feature in the first edition of LPL. Former Indian pacer Irfan Pathan was the last overseas signing by Kandy Tuskers while the tournament also boasts of drafting players like Chris Gayle, Darren Sammy, Darren Bravo, Shahid Afridi and Shakib Al Hasan.

The LPL will be 23-days long and SLC is planning to host it from November 21 to December 13. However, reports suggest that SLC is struggling to receive the mandatory health clearance from the Ministry of Health. SLC has made the arrangements for a 14-days quarantine period for the overseas players and would have to begin it from November 4 before the commencement of the tournament.

Sri Lanka can receive permission from the Health Ministry on Monday

“We are a little worried about this LPL, as the health authorities have not still granted us permission. Monday (today) would be the latest, otherwise, we may have to postpone it. The postponement means a lot of extra costs and player availability will become a question again, as they will have other commitments if the dates are changed,” said SLC secretary Mohan de Silva as quoted by India Today.

De Silva further added the league will be played across only two venues namely Hambantota and Pallekele and the players will stay in a biosecure bubble. Also, the board has had many discussions with the authorities but then also there is a delay in giving the required permissions.

“In fact, we had a number of discussions with the health authorities before writing to them for permission. The cricket will take place only in Hambantota and Pallekele, where the players will go into a bio-bubble. They will travel from Mattala airport to their hotel and from their hotel to the ground and back again.”

“All this has been planned and discussed earlier with the authorities, including the security, army and health. Most of the players taking part in the IPL are coming from bubble to bubble,” he added.

“We have decided on the dates and we have sought health clearance. We have written to the health authorities and are waiting for their response. Hopefully, we should get it on Monday (today),” SLC CEO Ashley de Silva said.

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