IPL 2020 : IPL commentator Irfan Pathan puts up his name for Lankan Premier League

Former India all-rounder Irfan Pathan is due for a commentary stint with the forthcoming Indian Premier League (IPL 2020) but now he can also seen in action in the Lankan Premier League, not as a commentator but as an marquee player for one of the team. 

Pathan along with New Zealand’s dashing opening batsman Martin Guptill are two of the biggest international stars who have already shown interest in competing in the LPL, franchise based Twenty20 Cricket Tournament by Sri Lanka Cricket which is set to get underway next month.

According to reports in Sri Lankan media, Pathan is among 70 foreign players to have shown interest in playing the LPL, proposed to start in the third week of August. The BCCI is believed to have cleared Pathan’s request to be allowed to play. The Indian board doesn’t allow active players to participate in other Twenty20 leagues but Pathan, who last played official cricket in February 2019, announced his retirement in January this year.

IPL 2020 : IPL commentator Irfan Pathan puts up his name for Lankan Premier League

The 23-match League will be played in Sri Lanka at the R. Premadasa Stadium, Dambulla Stadium, Pallekele Stadium and Mahinda Rajapaksa Stadium in Hambantota. 

Pathan will now be put in a player draft unless one of the five franchises choose him to be a marquee player. The details of the draft, and the franchise owners, are yet to be finalised and announced. SLC is also waiting on some government clearances even as it decides on franchise owners. The five franchises will represent Colombo, Kandy, Galle, Dambulla and Jaffna.

“Irfan Pathan and Martin Guptill are among the overseas players in the list who are very keen to play in this tournament and now it is up to the respective franchises to select these cricketers,” a high ranking official at Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) told a local daily. 

Recently retired Pathan was considered as one of the best all-rounders in this format and has represented Sunrisers Hyderabad, Rising Pune Supergiants, Kings XI Punjab, Delhi Daredevils and Chennai Super Kings in the lucrative Indian Premier League (IPL).

Meanwhile, Guptill who is a veteran of 253 T20s has also made his presence felt in the high profile IPL having represented Sunrisers Hyderabad, Mumbai Indians and Kings XI Punjab with great success.

If everything goes to plan, the SLC is hopeful the tournament will be played in front of small crowds. It is hoped that the Colombo airport will be opened up to traffic in the coming couple of weeks. Sri Lanka has reported under 3000 Covid-19 positive cases. The lockdown was lifted in June, but the airport has been receiving only repatriation flights.