The player draft of the inaugural Lanka Premier League (LPL) will be held on Monday, 19th of October in Colombo. Ahead of the all important player draft, promoter of the Lanka Premier League Innovative Production Group (IPG) CEO Mr. Anil Mohan spoke to NewsWire, answering some key questions.
Q : What is the current state of the LPL draft preparation?
The Players Draft is very much on track. It is scheduled to be held on the 19th of October, which is a Monday, and we will give you all the updates through a press release once the draft is completed. There will be a mix of foreign players, senior domestic players, and domestic junior players in the draft.
The LPL is not only about experiencing an exciting encounter on the day, it is also about investing in the future, and more so on the future of Sri Lanka Cricket.
We are extremely happy to share that we have a strong field of talented young cricketers in the line-up and it will be a pleasure to introduce them to the world.
Q : What is IPGs role in the LPL ?
SLC floated an RFP for the sale of rights in the month of July where more than 26 companies from around the world expressed their interest. In the end, it was IPG that emerged with the successful bid for the rights. The awarded rights include franchise ownership rights, global broadcasting & media rights, on-ground sponsorship and event production rights.
Q. Can you give us an update on the LPL franchise sales ? Is it true that only 1 team has been sold ?
The excitement for LPL, both among fans and also the media is quite palpable. Not only Sri Lanka, the entire Indian sub-continent and its neighbouring countries, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and the UAE are looking forward to the LPL with a lot of expectations because of the immense potential it holds, both for the game and business opportunities. It was enough to start the conversation among the people going, though most of it was way off the mark. But those are things of the past now.
We will make a formal announcement through a press release in the coming days and I am glad to inform that all franchisees have been sold and we are extremely happy with the people, corporate and entities who have bought the teams.
Contrary to speculations and rumours, we had to say no to many interested parties because we are looking for long-term commitments from everyone involved in the LPL. And we have backed each and every one who have shown that kind of commitment.
Q. Sri Lanka’s first franchise based T20 tournament SLPL failed in 2012, how confident are you that the LPL will be a success this time?
The LPL gives us an opportunity to give the cricket-loving Island Nation a T20 extravaganza to look forward to. The Sri Lankans love cricket and are extremely passionate about the game, and it gives me tremendous joy and happiness that IPG got the mandate to conduct the League there.
The Sri Lankan Cricket Board too has been extremely helpful and I look forward for their unending cooperation and support to make this League a grand success. We are committed to creating a world class league with the LPL, and I am sure, with support from the Board, the Sri Lankan Government, and the fans we will be able to do that.
Q. There are reports that many top international players will not participate in the LPL because of Sri Lanka’s tough quarantine regulations. What do you have to say on this?
These are difficult times for every country. Many countries have slowly started coming out of the difficult period they were in at the start of the pandemic. But, for some, there is yet a long way to go. I am sure every government is doing the best for their people, to keep them safe and not get infected by the deadly virus. And if that is the protocol, then we have to follow it. People world over have stayed indoors for months at a stretch without complaining, for their own safety and for the safety of others. When you look at the bigger picture, at humanity as a whole, and what it is going through, I don’t think we should let these 14- days come in between our mental or physical health.
The players who have committed themselves to play in the LPL are very much aware of this. I salute them for their understanding.
As professional sports personalities they face difficult situation on the field on a regular basis, here it is off the field, but it is all about adapting to the situation. Let me not let the cat out of the bag just yet, but when you hear the names of the players you will realize that whatever you have been hearing in the past few days were just not true. (NewsWire)
Lanka Premier League 2020
The Pallekele International Cricket Stadium in Kandy and Mahinda Rajapaksa International Cricket Stadium in Hambantota will host all 23 matches to be played in the Lanka Premier League (LPL) 2020. The League is scheduled to be held from November 21 to December 13, 2020. The Players Draft is scheduled to be held on October 19, 2020.