LPL 2021: Sri Lanka Cricket is set to conduct the 2nd edition of the Lanka Premier League (LPL 2021) from July 30 to August 22 with five teams competing for the title. While the expansion of the tournament was put on hold due to the pandemic, the franchises now face another obstacle with foreign players’ availability. The window that the SLC has chosen coincides with ECB’s newest project The Hundred, a 100-ball cricket tournament that will be played from July 21 to August 21 with stars like Andre Russell, Mohammad Amir taking part.
It has put franchises in a precarious position, especially Colombo Kings, who are set to miss as many as four foreign players including Andre Russell, Daniel Bell-Drummond, and Laurie Evans. Jaffna Stallions will miss Tom Moores while Galle Gladiators will be without Mohammad Amir, who will play in The Hundred. Dambulla Vikings and Kandy Tuskers will miss one player each.
LPL 2021: While there is still time to set things straight and bring in replacements, the problem is the packed ICC calendar for bilateral cricket. During the window, Pakistan will tour West Indies (July 27-August 24) and Zimbabwe will tour Ireland, meaning Zimbabwe all-rounder Brendon Taylor of Kandy Tuskers could also miss out.
Furthermore, Manpreet Gony, who is playing for Colombo Kings, could also miss out if Sri Lanka extends the travel ban on Indian travellers. While the BCCI and SLC have made special arrangements for India’s tour of Sri Lanka for the limited-overs series, Manpreet Gony will not be a part of that bubble. Hence, if Sri Lanka does not lift the travel ban on India, he could be unavailable as well.
Overseas players who are set to miss LPL 2021
Colombo Kings: Daniel Bell-Drummond (Birmingham Phoenix), Laurie Evans (Oval Invincibles), Andre Russell (Southern Brave), Qais Ahmad (Welsh Fire).
Kandy Tuskers: Brendan Taylor (Zimbabwe tour of Ireland)
Jaffna Stallions: Tom Moores (Trent Rockets),
Galle Gladiators: Mohammad Amir (London Spirit)
Dambulla Vikings: Samit Patel (Trent Rockets)