Chris Gayle, Colin Munro, Daren Sammy, Shakib Al Hasan, Ravi Bopara, Darren Bravo, Munaf Patel and Vernon Philander are some of the players who feature in the star-studded list of 150 international cricketers for the inaugural Lanka Premier League (LPL) auction.
While Shahid Afridi was also named among the players set to be included in the auction, the former Pakistan skipper was earlier announced as the icon player for Galle Gladiators. "Proud to be the icon player for Galle Gladiators. I want to thank Nadeem Omar bhai and also congratulate him for being the first franchise owner from Pakistan in the #LPL. I’ll be seeing you all in [Sri Lanka]," Afridi had tweeted just over a week ago.
The LPL auction will be held on October 1 with all five franchises given the option of selecting up to six foreign players. The teams will have to pick a total of 65 local cricketers, implying that each playing squad will comprise of 19 members.
The tournament will run from November 14 to December 6 with the 23 matches to be conducted across the Dambulla, Pallekele and Hambantota international stadiums. The season opener will be staged in Hambantota.
Unconfirmed reports suggest that the likes of Wasim Akram and Vivian Richards could also be involved in some capacity in the LPL. Meanwhile, Moin Khan has already signed as the coach of Galle Gladiators during the launch ceremony of the team, which is owned by Pakistan Super League franchise Quetta Gladiators.
LPL was originally supposed to commence in late August but was postponed due to the logistical challenges caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Sri Lanka Cricket's pleas of leniency regarding the mandatory quarantine period were rejected the country's government as they continue to apply strict measures.
The Covid-19 situation in Sri Lanka has not deteriorated as much compared to neighbouring states as the island nation currently hosts less than 200 active virus infections.
Details relating to the arrangement of bio-secure bubbles and the decision on whether the competition should be played behind closed doors will be conveyed in due course.