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Lanka Premier League to be launched on August 28; tournament to feature five teams
Lanka Premier League

Lanka Premier League to be launched on August 28; tournament to feature five teams

After months of planning, the inaugural Lanka Premier League is set to begin on August 28 with the final scheduled to take place on September 20 according to a statement from Sri Lanka Cricket.

The new competition will see five teams, named after the cities of Colombo, Kandy, Galle, Dambulla and Jaffna, battle for the top prize.

As many as 70 international players and 10 "top notch" coaches have expressed their interest in taking part in Sri Lanka's first major T20 tournament since the 2012 Sri Lanka Premier League.

The SLC Executive Committee has granted approval to conduct the opening season of the Lanka Premier League, though the board still requires assistance from the government regarding the arrangements of "bio-secure" facilities.

The coronavirus pandemic in the island nation has largely been controlled with the number of active Covid-19 cases less than 700 at the moment.

However, the tournament organisers will be wary of curtailing all potential outlets of exposure to the virus and willing to apply strict safety protocols.

The 23 matches will be played across the four international venues of Premadasa International Cricket Stadium, Rangiri Dambulla International Cricket Stadium, Pallekele International Cricket Stadium and Suriyawewa Mahinda Rajapakse International Cricket Stadium.

The dates of the T20 event coincide with the Caribbean Premier League that runs from August 18 to September 10, thus preventing SLC from signing prominent West Indies stars.

Bidding for the title sponsor will end on July 30 and the full schedule of matches will be announced in due course.

The 2012 Sri Lanka Premier League was earlier discontinued owing to alarmingly low crowds and corruption allegations.