LPL has five-year window in August-September
Though the dates of the proposed Lanka Premier League (LPL) clashes with similar leagues being played around the world during the same period, Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) is confident of attracting top international cricketers for the tournament.
The LPL is scheduled for August 18 to September 16, a period during which Sri Lanka has no international commitments. But the dates clash with the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) and England’s T20 Blast. Most top cricketers, barring the Indians, are competing in the CPL and the T20 Blast. Indian cricketers are not allowed to compete in other domestic leagues by their board.
The CPL is scheduled from August 8 to September 16, with the English domestic season ongoing throughout.
“We have fixed this window for the next five years. Like the IPL, we will be playing the tournament during this period and it will help players to plan ahead,” said Ashley de Silva, CEO SLC. “So I don’t think we will have any issue of getting foreign players.”
The inaugural LPL will see six teams battling it out for the title. SLC said each team will play ten first round matches–two matches against each team. The format of the tournament is yet to be released.
“We will announce it shortly. Right now, our main focus is the Nidahas Trophy. Once that is over, we will work towards the hosting of the inaugural LPL,” de Silva explained.
However, the biggest challenge for SLC will be to attract tournament sponsors to meet the huge cost involved.
“We are not solely looking at it with a financial perspective. We want to give as much experience as possible to our local cricketers and prepare them for international cricket,” he added.
Sri Lanka is the only ICC full member without a T20 league of their own. India has IPL and, even though it’s not the oldest tournament in the world, it is certainly the biggest T20 league in the world, financially and otherwise.
The Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) is currently second in terms of the number of people following the tournament and the Big Bash League (BBL) in Australia has been successful in filling stadiums.
West Indies has their own league in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) while Ram Slam T20 Challenge in South Africa’s. New Zealand’s Super Smash has been an important platform for their stars.
SLC conducted their own T20 tournament in 2012, but it crashed most dramatically in 2013 when each franchise was terminated after failing to pay the participation fee three weeks before the tournament was scheduled to begin.