The year 2020 marked a significant point in the physical movements of human lives as never before, caging humans into their houses with social distancing measures. The whole world has had to adapt to a new normal concept with the prevailing pandemic situation in the world. Despite this, Sri Lanka Cricket has kicked off its renaissance with the Lanka Premier League (LPL) in an attempt to revive domestic cricket while taking the country's name to the world. While Sri Lankan cricket lovers are thrilled with this update, MoraSpirit brings you this quick rundown of LPL to get you up to date just when the tournament is starting.
Following yesterday’s (26th of November) tournament-opening, Lanka Premier League (LPL) will be held until the 16th December at the Sooriyawewa Mahinda Rajapaksha International Cricket Stadium.
The most awaited cricket frenzy is being organized for the second time after 2012 with the participation of Cricketers from India, Afghanistan, Pakistan, England, South Africa, West Indies, Zimbabwe, Canada, and Ireland. The main sponsor of the League is My 11 Circle, one of the most famous fantasy sports companies in India.
Each team consists of seven local players and four overseas players. A total of five teams representing five major towns of the country take to the fields to outplay each other in this extravagant showdown.
The teams are Dambulla Vikings, Colombo Kings, Jaffna Stallions, Kandy Tuskers, and Galle Gladiators. The captaincy of these four teams are held by well-known Sri Lankan Cricketers including Dambulla Vikings by Dasun Shanaka, Jaffna Stallions by Thisara Perera, Colombo Kings by Angelo Mathews, Kandy Tuskers by Kusal Perera, and as the only outlier, Galle gladiators is captained by Pakistan Cricketer Shahid Afridi.
The five teams practice towards glory under the guidance of their main coaches: Hashan Thilakarathana for Kandy Tuskers, Owais Shah for Dambulla Vikings, Herschelle Gibbs for Colombo Kings, Thilina Kandamby for Jaffna stallions, and Moin Khan for Galle Gladiators.
World-class Entrepreneurs and Businessmen have seized the ownership of these five teams including Colombo Kings by Murfad Mustafa, a Dubai based Indian businessman, Jaffna Stallions by Brindon Bagirathan, a British-Sri Lankan entrepreneur, Galle Gladiators by Nadeem Omar, Dambulla Vikings by Bollywood actor Sachiin J. Joshi and Kandy Tuskers by Bollywood actor Sohail Khan.
Kusal Perera leads the combination of well known and up-and-coming players in Kandy Tuskers. The team consists of Kusal Mendis, Asela Gunaratna, Nuwan Pradeep Roshan, the best ODI Bowler of the current Sri Lankan team, Kamindu Mendis an all-rounder who can bowl using both arms, and an Indian superstar player Irfan Pathan. As its roster suggests the Kandy team’s strongest point is its powerful bowlers who can kneel opponent batsmen with their bowling supremacy in the pitch.
Angelo Mathews, one of the most experienced all-rounders of the Sri Lankan Team leads Colombo kings with Dinesh Chandimal, West Indies key player Andrew Russel, Isuru Udana, an experienced cricketer in Cricket Premier Leagues, and Lawry Evens. Colombo Kings is a balanced team with a powerful bowling and batting lineup who can go head to head with the other four teams.
Jaffna Stallions led by Thisara Perera consists of one of the most experienced Pakistan Cricketers Shoaib Malik, upcoming Sri Lankan cricketer Avishka Fernando, Dhananjaya de Silva, Wanindu Hasranaga, and West Indian hitter Johnson Charles. The balanced bowling and Batting line is well-equipped to pose a threat to the other teams in their matches.
Dambulla Vikings is led by Dasun Shanaka, an outstanding power hitter in T20s, An Irish player Paul Steering, Lahiru Kumara and Kasun Rajitha, two Sri Lankan upcoming fast bowlers, and Samith Patel, one of the most experienced English all-rounders.
Shahid Afridi, a well-known Pakistan Cricketer leads the Galle Gladiators team. Due to the mandatory quarantine procedure foreign players are expected to undergo, the first two matches are captained by the upcoming player Bhanuka Rajapaksha. This team consists of a powerful batting line powered by international players including Hasratulla Sasai, second-highest scorer in T20 innings, West Indies cricketer Chadwick Walton, captain Shahid Afridi, and local players, Danushka Gunathilake, Bhanuka Rajapaksha, and Milinda Siriwardana.
Lankan Premier League will be a fine opportunity for the upcoming cricketers to showcase their talents and grab the experience for their careers. If successful, the tournament could be a turning point to reviving Sri Lankan Cricket.