After a lot of hiccups and rescheduling due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the inaugural edition of the Lanka Premier League (LPL 2020) is finally set to begin on the 26th of November.
The tournament was initially scheduled to be conducted in August 2020, but the rising COVID cases in the island nation forced it to be rescheduled.
After the initial postponement of the tournament, the player auction was scheduled for 1st October. But this too had to be rescheduled several times before finally being done via Zoom.
The Government finally gave LPL schedule the go-ahead on November 5, with all 23 matches to be played at Hambantota.
This article will tell you all you need to know about the inaugural edition of the Lanka Premier League (LPL).
Here's a glimpse of Galle Gladiators arriving in Sri Lanka for Lanka Premier League 🏏
The Galle based franchise will be taking part in the inaugural edition of the league! #එක්වජයගමූ #WinItTogether #ஒன்றாகவெல்வோம் #LPL2020 #LPLT20 #LPL #My11CircleLPL pic.twitter.com/62pYO6CB4T
— Lanka Premier League (@LPLt20official) November 21, 2020
6 things you need to know about LPL 2020
With the tournament not too far away, we look at 6 things that you need to know about LPL 2020.
Is this the first T20 competition in Sri Lanka of its kind?
This will be the first official franchise-based T20 tournament in Sri Lanka after the only edition of Sri Lanka Premier League was organized in 2012. Further editions of SLPL were cancelled citing a lack of meaningful sponsorship for the league.
Is the LPL recognized by the ICC?
LPL 2020 has the official recognition of the International Cricket Council. This means that all the matches played in the league will have official T20 status and will go down in the official records.
How many teams are playing in LPL 2020?
Five teams based out of different Sri Lankan cities will play in the inaugural season of the LPL. The five teams taking part will be Colombo Kings (CK), Dambulla Viiking (DV), Galle Gladiators (GG), Jaffna Stallions (JS) and Kandy Tuskers (KT).
Are any Indian players scheduled to play in LPL 2020?
Former all-rounder Irfan Pathan and pacer Munaf Patel are part of the Kandy Tuskers squad. Dambulla Viiking have recently signed former pacer Sudeep Tyagi. Manvinder Bisla was supposed to be part of the Colombo Kings squad along with Manpreet Gony, but he has pulled out of the tournament.
— Lanka Premier League (@LPLt20official) November 19, 2020
Who are the other major international stars playing in LPL 2020?
Even though many international players have now pulled out of the LPL due to a clash with the international schedule or the Big Bash League, or citing personal reasons, LPL 2020 still boasts of some big names. Andre Russell (CK), Samit Patel (DV), Paul Stirling (DV), Johnson Charles (DV), Kamran Akmal (DV), Shahid Afridi (GG), Mohammad Amir (GG), Chadwick Walton (GG), Shoaib Malik (JS), Kyle Abbott (JS), Duanne Olivier (JS) and Sohail Tanveer (KT) are some of the big names who will be part of the league.
What will be the format of the league?
The league phase will have 20 matches with each team playing the other twice. The top four teams will qualify for the semifinals, which will be played on 13th and 14th of December. The winners of the semifinals will meet on 16th December in the final of LPL 2020.