Sports News

SLC includes ten more players into five LPL teams as more transparency and foresight expected from LPL organisers




Mahela Jayawardene’s tweet on the LPL player draft on Monday (8)


More transparency and foresight expected from LPL organisers

“Very interesting picks and none picks in Lanka Premier League (LPL) Twenty20 draft last evening. (It’s) difficult for a country to progress when you take one step forward and five steps backwards. Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) officials should not forget this is a domestic tournament to develop genuine talent,” tweeted National Sports Council (NSC) Chairman Mahela Jayawardene on the LPL player draft that took place on Monday (8).

He has apparently raised the issue as the LPL organisers had allegedly dropped prominent players such as Sri Lanka Test Captain Dimuth Karunaratne, Angelo Mathews, former national white-ball cricket Vice Captain Dhananjaya de Silva, Kusal Perera, Dinesh Chandimal, Akila Dananjaya, Minod Bhanuka, and Praveen Jayawickrama.

Was this due to the ongoing tug-o-war between SLC plus the LPL organisers and the National Sports Council (NSC)?

One highly-placed source told the Morning Sports yesterday (11) that from the part of the LPL organisers, there could have been better transparency and foresight.

“It is not acceptable that such leading players had been missed out from the player draft on Monday. Apparently there may be some outside parties with vested interest had had a hand in picking the players. Ideally the national selectors could have had a better say in the process. They should have involved with their plans for the future,” he said.

He further added: “There could have been better transparency in the process. At the same time the league has to be utilised to develop Sri Lanka’s cricket for the future, like India does it through their league, the IPL (Indian Premier League).”

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Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) yesterday (11) had included 10 more players into the five franchises of the Lanka Premier League (LPL) second edition that will start on 5 December.

Following is the statement released to the media by SLC in that regard:

Statement pertaining to the ‘player draft’ of the Lanka Premier League (LPL) 2021

Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) wishes to announce that the Player Draft of the Lanka Premier League (LPL) 2021 was conducted with utmost transparency with clear processes and procedures set in place on the criteria of selection of the players and also clear guidelines are given on the same to the franchise holders.

For this year’s edition, the LPL 2021 received 673 applications from foreign players expressing their interest to be included in the player draft, whilst 358 local cricketers (including players who have entered into central and domestic contracts with the SLC) who were keen to represent the domestic presence at the LPL, were included in the Player Draft following recommendations made by the major clubs with the consent of such players.

Accordingly, a total of 1,031 players (local and overseas) went into the draft, whilst the ‘right’ of selecting the suitable and desirous players for the 20 member squads, was solely vested with the Franchise Owners subject to compliance with the guidelines set by the SLC.

As such, SLC is pleased with the overall process, as the said Player Draft was carried out as planned in a timely manner and with the participation of all stakeholders, ensuring the highest level of transparency.

However, despite the overall success, SLC, which is the governing body of the LPL has observed that franchise owners have opted not to select certain national players and some young players who play excellent domestic cricket and are considered potential future stars.

Considering the above deficiency and in the interest of the game of cricket in Sri Lanka, the Governing Council of the LPL 2021 decided to forward the names of 10 deserving players (including players who have entered into central and domestic contracts with the SLC) who missed out during the Player Draft, to all the Franchise Owners, and make it ‘mandatory’ for each franchise to select two players out of the given 10 into their squad, thus expanding the squad strength from 20 to 22.

As such, SLC wishes to announce that along with the Event Rights Partner of LPL (Innovative Production Group or IPG) all required steps will be taken to ensure that the LPL 2021, of which the inaugural edition was a huge success story, will be continued on an even bigger scale, whilst ensuring that the league is run with integrity as its topmost consideration.