LPL 2020 Tournament preview
The tournament was in the making for quite long, and finally after a lot of hullabaloo, the inaugural season of the Lanka Premier League is set to take off on Thursday, 26 November. The T20 franchise cricket tournament in Sri Lanka will involve 23 matches played over 21 days with the final set to be held on December 16th.
LPL 2020 includes five teams with all games to be held in one venue due to the COVID-19 pandemic. All 23 matches of the inaugural season will be held at the Mahinda Rajapaksa International Stadium in Hambantota. Interestingly, there will be four former Indian cricket players participating in this edition of the Lanka Premier League: Manpreet Gony, Irfan Pathan, Sudeep Tyagi, and Munaf Patel, all bowlers, will be in action.
There are as many as 10 center wickets prepared on the ground which will host matches on 15 days according to the schedule.
Which teams are involved?
There are five teams for this LPL season:
- Colombo Kings
- Kandy Tuskers
- Jaffna Stallions
- Galle Gladiators
- Dambulla Hawks
Colombo Kings and Kandy Tuskers clash in the opening match of the inaugural Lanka Premier League season with both teams having equal odds of 1.83 to win the game. However, Colombo, with a better overseas contingent, are favourites to win this fixture.
Galle Gladiators take on Jaffna Stallions on Friday the 27th of November with the strong Galle side, buoyed by experienced players such as Shahid Afridi and Akila Dananjaya, favourites to win at odds of 1.60.
The Galle Gladiators boast of some high-profile players and will be coached by former Pakistan legend, Wasim Akram. Sri Lanka’s retired former international player Hashan Tillakaratne is in charge at the Kandy Tuskers. Another Sri Lanka international, Thilina Kandamby is the head coach at Jaffna Stallions.
England pacer John Lewis will manage Dambulla Hawks. Dav Whatmore, who has previously coached Sri Lanka and Bangladesh aside from a few other franchises, will coach Colombo Kings.
Big overseas stars in LPL 2020
Each team boasts some excellent overseas recruits making the inaugural edition of the league a highly anticipated one. There are players from Pakistan, India, South Africa, England, West Indies, Ireland and Afghanistan.
Jaffna Stallions: The franchise has veteran Pakistan all-rounder Shoaib Malik and a couple of other Pakistan stars in Usman Khan Shinwari, the left-arm pacer and big-hitting middle-order batsman Asif Ali. They also have the no.1 ranked T20I batsman currently, England’s Dawid Malan in their ranks.
Dambulla Hawks: The Hawks went for some pretty popular T20 franchise players as their overseas recruits. South Africa’s David Miller and West Indian Carlos Brathwaite will take care of Power hitting duties. England’s spinner and all-rounder Samit Patel lends balance and middle-order strength to the line-up. They also have an x-factor opener in Ireland’s Paul Stirling, a highly rated T20 player.
Kandy Tuskers: Arguably the biggest overseas star in the league is at Kandy. Chris Henry Gayle, who at 41 continues to remain one of the most popular T20 players, is at Kandy Tuskers. They also have Wahan Riaz from Pakistan and England’s World Cup winning pacer Liam Plunkett as overseas players.
Colombo Kings: With Andre Russell, the most ferocious striker in T20 cricket, in their ranks, Colombo Kings will not be pushovers in the inaugural season. They also have South Africa’s Faf du Plessis who was in good form for Chennai Super Kings in the IPL in the side as an overseas star. India’s pacer Manpreet Gony is the other overseas player.
Galle Gladiators: While they have Sri Lanka’s champion pace bowler Lasith Malinga in the team, it is the array of overseas stars that make Galle Gladiators one of the favourites for the inaugural season of the Lanka Premier League. Shahid Afridi and Mohammad Amir are high profile recruits from Pakistan. They have England’s T20 Blast hero from South Africa, Colin Ingram also in the side. Big hitting Afghanistan opener Hazratullah Zazai completes an elite group of overseas stars.