Cricket: Lanka Premier League still on course – SLC

ECONOMYNEXT- Sri Lanka Cricket Board (SLC) is yet to decide whether the Lanka Premier League (LPL) T20 Cricket tournament will be played only in Hambantota, a spokesman for SLC told EconomyNext today November 4.

The official who did not wish to be named said a discussion was held yesterday at the Health Ministry between the health officials and the SLC on the selection of venues in which only Hambantota is a ‘possible option’ and how to go with the tournament while managing the COVID situation of the country.

“With the current Covid situation, there is a need to have the LPL as it’s good for the country. SLC does not have any issues with regulations of the Health Ministry as they are imposed because they are needed,” he added.

Speaking to ESPNCricinfo Tournament director Ravin Wickramaratne said that SLC would much prefer to play the tournament on the island.

However, the 14-day quarantine that Sri Lanka is insisting on increasingly appears a deal-breaker for some foreign players, as well as an operational obstacle for broadcast crews and commentators set to come for the tournament.

Having repeatedly cancelled previous iterations of the tournament, SLC is desperate to make it happen this year, and is now considering three options, Wickramaratne said.

“The first option is to play the tournament across two venues in Sri Lanka – in Hambantota and Pallekele – but we might have to move the tournament back by about one week. The second option is to play it all in one venue, which will make the arrangements around a biosecure bubble for players and staff more straightforward.”

“The last option, which we would rather not take, is to play in the UAE or Malaysia. This is a Sri Lankan tournament so it should be played here. But this has been a much-awaited tournament, and there are many Sri Lankan players who have been waiting to play in it. So we want to play it” he told ESPNcricinfo.

With the emergence of new COVID cases in the country, the LPL dates were revised to run from November 21 to December 13, with matches to be played in Hambantota and Pallekele. (Colombo, November 05, 2020)

Reported by Imesh Ranasinghe

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