The Lanka Premier League (LPL) is all set to start rolling on November 21 after the 5 franchises – Jaffna Stallions, Dambulla Hawks, Kandy Tuskers, Colombo Kings and Galle Gladiators – built their squads in the online draft conducted on Monday.
Chris Gayle, Andre Russell, Faf du Plessis and Carlos Brathwaite are some of the big names that have been drafted in by the teams. Notably, each LPL side had options to sign 2 foreign marquee players – ones whom each franchise approaches individually and signs – and 1 local marquee pick.
The rest of the players will be paid as per the price determined by the category they were in going into the draft. Players drafted earlier generally earn bigger bucks.
However, the entire LPL draft was carried out in an extremely disorganised manner, with seemingly zero coordination between the organisers and the various stakeholders. There were instances of selectors going off the video call and constant back-and-forth clarifications between the owners and Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC).
The biggest blemish, however, was when Dambulla Hawks head coach Jon Lewis picked up Todd Astle only to be intimated a few minutes later that the Kiwi leg-spinner had opted out of the LPL 2020 draft two weeks ago.
Final list of players drafted in for LPL 2020
All 5 LPL franchises have picked between 16 and 20 players, while some slots have been purposely left vacant for the owners to persuade some other overseas players to feature in the tournament.
Jaffna Stallions (coached by Thilina Kandamby): Thisara Perera, Dawid Malan, Wanindu Hasaranga, Shoaib Malik, Usman Shinwari, Avishka Fernando, Dhananjaya de Silva, Suranga Lakmal, Binura Fernando, Asif Ali, Minod Bhanuka, Chaturanga de Silva, Mahesh Theekshana, Charith Asalanka, Nuvinidu Fernando, Kanagaratnam Kapilraj, Theivendiram Dinoshan, Yiyakanth Yiyaskanth
Dambulla Hawks (coached by Jon Lewis): Dasun Shanaka, David Miller, Carlos Brathwaite, Samit Patel, Niroshan Dickwella (wk), Lahiru Kumara, Oshada Fernando, Kasun Rajitha, Paul Stirling, Lahiru Madushanka, Upul Tharanga, Angelo Perera, Ramesh Mendis, Pulina Tharanga, Ashen Bandara, Dilshan Madushanka, Sachindu Colombage
Kandy Tuskers (coached by Hashan Tillakaratne): Chris Gayle, Kusal Perera, Liam Plunkett, Wahab Riaz, Kusal Mendis, Nuwan Pradeep, Seekkuge Prasanna, Asela Gunaratne, Naveen-Ul-Haq, Kamindu Mendis, Dilruwan Perera, Priyamal Perera, Kavishka Anjula, Lasith Embuldeniya, Lahiru Samarakoon, Nishan Fernando, Chamika Edirisinghe, Ishan Jayaratne
Colombo Kings (coached by Dav Whatmore): Andre Russell, Faf du Plessis, Angelo Mathews, Manpreet Singh Gony, Manvinder Bisla, Isuru Udana, Dinesh Chandimal, Amila Aponso, Ravinderpal Singh, Ashan Priyanjan, Dushmantha Chameera, Jeffrey Vandersay, Thikshila de Silva, Tharindu Kaushal, Lahiru Udara, Himesh Ramanayake, Kalana Perera, Tharindu Rathnayaka, Navod Paranawithana
Galle Gladiators (coached by Wasim Akram): Lasith Malinga, Shahid Afridi, Colin Ingram, Mohammad Amir, Hazratullah Zazai, Danushka Gunathilaka, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Akila Dananjaya, Milinda Siriwardana, Sarfaraz Ahmed (wk), Azam Khan, Lakshan Sandakan, Shehan Jayasuriya, Asitha Fernando, Nuwan Thushara, Mohomed Shiraz, Dhananjaya Lakshan, Chanaka Ruwansiri, Sahan Arachchi
LPL 2020 will be conducted between November 21 and December 13. The tournament will be played initially at the Sooriyawewa Stadium before heading to Pallekele for the latter stages of the league and the knockout matches.
The Sri Lankan government is unlikely to reduce the mandatory quarantine period for those flying into the country, but SLC acknowledged that the foreign players and officials have agreed to undergo 14 days of self-isolation.