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Lanka Premier League League Finally Takes Off After Turbulent Build-up

Lanka Premier League League Finally Takes Off After Turbulent Build-up

The organisers of Sri Lanka’s new Twenty20 league are bullish about the franchise-based tournament despite a slew of teething problems that preceded its scheduled start on Thursday.

  • Reuters
  • Updated: November 25, 2020, 8:51 AM IST

The organisers of Sri Lanka’s new Twenty20 league are bullish about the franchise-based tournament despite a slew of teething problems that preceded its scheduled start on Thursday. Multiple postponements, venue uncertainties and late withdrawals marred the build-up for Sri Lanka Cricket’s (SLC) ambitious tournament which was originally scheduled to begin in late August. SLC vice president Ravin Wickramaratne dismissed suggestions that the board should have waited for the COVID-19 pandemic to subside before launching the league. “The game of cricket was stopped for a while following the pandemic outbreak, however, we cannot keep it on hold for more than this,” Wickramaratne, also the league’s tournament director, told Reuters in an email interview.

“None of us know for sure when this is going to end... this is the ‘New Normal’, we need to adapt to it.

“A T20 league of this nature has been a long-felt need for Sri Lanka Cricket, and postponing this for a further year or two is not going to help SLC’s forward journey.”

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The SLC even considered hosting the five-team league in Malaysia or the United Arab Emirates while finalising quarantine arrangements with the country’s health ministry.

Nothing illustrated the league’s chaotic build-up like Herschelle Gibbs’ association with it.

The former South Africa player was first unveiled as a commentator but ended up being the Colombo Kings head coach following a series of coincidences.

Dav Whatmore was initially named the Colombo coach but following his withdrawal, the job was offered to former England bowler Kabir Ali.

Ali then contacted COVID-19 and was unavailable and Gibbs was roped in.

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“Been an interesting day or two but so grateful to be head coach of @ColomboKings,” an amused Gibbs tweeted after his appointment.

Earlier this month, Pallekele was dropped as a second venue as SLC decided to host the entire tournament in a bio-secure bubble in Hambantota.

League promoters Innovative Production Group (IPG) said they hardly had any choice.



Team Rankings

RankTeamPointsRating
1 Australia 3028 116
2 New Zealand 2406 115
3 India 3085 114
4 England 4326 106
5 Sri Lanka 2454 91
FULL Ranking
RankTeamPointsRating
1 England 5405 123
2 India 6102 117
3 New Zealand 3716 116
4 Australia 4344 111
5 South Africa 3345 108
FULL Ranking
RankTeamPointsRating
1 England 6877 275
2 Australia 6800 272
3 India 10186 268
4 Pakistan 7516 259
5 South Africa 5047 252
FULL Ranking