The inaugural Lankan Premier League will be played in the month of November and December in Sri Lanka. The tournament will be played from 26th November till 16th December. All the matches will be played at Mahinda Rajapaksa International Cricket Stadium in Hambantota. Galle Gladiators, Colombo Kings, Dambulla Viking, Jaffna Stallions and Kandy Tuskers are five franchises participating in this year’s competition.
Galle Gladiators led by Shahid Afridi will be looking to make an impact with bat and ball this season. Lasith Malinga has been ruled out of the competition due to personal reason, while wicket-keeper Sarfaraz Ahmed is unavailable due to his international commitments for Pakistan national cricket team.
Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Danushka Gunathilaka and wicket-keeper Chadwick Walton are three premier players to watch out for Galle Gladiators in this year’s competition. The franchise has signed Afghanistan’s Hazratullah Zazai and Pakistan’s Mohammad Amir to strengthen their overall squad.
Colombo Kings is another decent unit led by Angelo Matthews for the inaugural edition of the league. Former Sri Lankan captain will be hoping that the side can put in a decent show in this tournament. Faf du Plessis, Mohammad Hafeez are not available due to international commitments with their national side. Ravinderpal Singh and Manvinder Bisla have been ruled out of the competition due to personal issues.
Isuru Udana, Laurie Evans and Daniel Bell-Drummond are other high-profile players for Colombo Kings for this opening season of Lankan Premier League.
All-rounder Dasun Shanaka has been captain of the Dambulla Kings. The franchise have suffered setback as the likes of David Miller, Carlos Brathwaite, Lendl Simmons and Kamran Akmal have been ruled out of the competition due to various reasons.
In the batting department, all eyes will be on the likes of Oshada Fernando, Samit Patel and Niroshan Dickwella to make big scores this season. On the bowling front, Lahiru Kumara, Kasun Rajitha and Anwar Ali will be premier bowlers for the side.
Fourth team is Jaffna Stallions, who will be captained by Thisara Perera in this year’s competition. Dawid Malan, Ravi Bopara and Asif Ali have been ruled out of the competition due to various reasons.
For Stallions, Thisara Perera will be looking to lead from the front with bat and ball. Besides Perera, Avishka Fernando, Dhananjaya de Silva and Shoaib Malik will need to deliver the bulk of the runs with the bat.
Leg-spinner Wanindu Hasaranga holds an excellent record in the T20 format and will be looking to make an impact with the bat for Jaffna Stallions.
Captain Kusal Perera will lead Kandy Tuskers for this year’s competition. Left-hander will be keen to make an impression with the bat this season. Chris Gayle has been ruled out of the competition due to injury, while pacers Liam Plunkett and Wahab Riaz are unavailable due to personal reasons.
In the batting department, the onus will be on the likes of Kusal Mendis, Shoaib Malik and Rahmanullah Gurbaz. On the bowling front, the side will be relying on the likes of Dale Steyn, Nuwan Pradeep and Lasith Embuldeniya to make crucial breakthroughs.