The Lanka Premier League 2021 organised by Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) is expected to be a major draw when its second edition gets underway in the glitter of quite a number of T20 stars having already raised their hands to participate in the country’s local showpiece of the short version of the game. It will be held from December 5 to 23 at the Mahinda Rajapaksa International Stadium. Some of the big names in the game who will infuse attraction to the tournament are Andre Russel, Chris Gayle, Dawin Malan, Shahid Afridi and Shoaib Malik who have already registered in a lineup of foreign players. Player participation will be decided after the player draft.
The availability of a large number of foreign players will be a muscle to young local latent talent who will benefit by the experience of rubbing shoulders with a blend of the most innovative from other countries. An estimated 699 international cricketers have registered. An LPL franchise team will be permitted to have a maximum of six foreign players in a total 20-member squad. The tournament will be beefed up by players from the West Indies, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Zimbabwe, Australia, England, South Africa and New Zealand.
Colombo Kings and Dambulla Vikings and Jaffna Stallions have been scrapped this year due to financial issues and Dambulla Vikings has been renamed as Dambulla Giants and Jaffna Stallions has been renamed as Jaffna Kings.
Each team will play 8 games in the league stage with three knockout stage games with the mega finals to be held on December 23.
A notable feature of the inaugural tournament was the emergence of many talented local players who benefitted by playing alongside foreign players which was a huge boost for the advancement of the game in Sri Lanka.
Key international cricketers who have registered to participate in the LPL 2021:
West Indies – Chris Gayle, Dwayne Smith, Dinesh Ramdin, Roston Chase, Johnson Charles, Kemar Roach, Shai Hope, Kieran Powell, Rahkeem Cornwall, Fidel Edwards, Sheldon Cottrell, Fabian Allen, Chadwick Walton, Andre Russell, Lendl Simmons, Jerome Taylor.
Bangladesh – Mehedi Hasan, Sohag Gazi, Shafiul Islam, Afif Hossain, Taskin Ahmed, Imrul Kayes, Ebadat Hossain, and Mohammad Mahmudullah.
Pakistan – Anwar Ali, Mohammad Hafeez, Fakhar Zaman, Mohammad Irfan, Ahmed Shehzad, Sohail Tanvir, Imam-ul-Haq, Umar Akmal, Kamran Akmal, Sarfraz Ahmed, Junaid Khan, Usman Shinwari, Haris Sohail, Shahid Afridi, Shoaib Malik, Mohammad Amir, Hasan Ali, and Wahab Riaz.
South Africa – Bjorn Fortuin, Richard Levi, Wayne Parnell, Duanne Olivier, Imran Tahir, Faf du Plessis, Rassie van der Dussen, and Morne Morkel.
India – Yusuf Pathan, Irfan Pathan, and Vinay Kumar.
Australia –James Faulkner and Ben Dunk.
England – Laurie Evans, Luke Wright, Liam Plunkett, Dan Lawrence, Samit Patel, Steven Finn, Dawid Malan, Adil Rashid and Ravi Bopara.
New Zealand – Mitchell McClenaghan and Neil Broom.
Zimbabwe – Sikandar Raza, Craig Irwin, Sean Williams