Lanka Premier League (LPL) will boost cricketing interest among young cricketers in the Island nation and offer real opportunities in the future, according to Jaffna Stallions franchisee CEO, Selva Waran.
The inaugural edition of the LPL is scheduled to be played from November 21 to December 13, 2020 at Pallekele and Hambantota. Thisara Perera, Dawid Malan, Wanindu Hasaranga, Shoaib Malik and Usman Shinwari are some of the key players picked in the Players Draft by the team.
The team has also picked three home-grown talented youngsters from Jaffana, Theivendram Dinoshan (18), Vijayakanth Viyaskanth (19) and Kanagarathnam Kabilraj (21) in the squad.
Jaffna Stallions is owned by a UK-based consortium led by successful healthcare entrepreneur Brindon Bagirathan. The core motivation of the franchise is to develop cricket in the Northern province in Sri Lanka. This is highlighted by the picking of three Jaffna-based cricketers. That said, as avid followers and fans of Sri Lanka cricket, the stakeholders of the franchise want to use this opportunity to see Sri Lanka cricket develop.
“The inclusion of three Jaffna-born youngsters in our team is testimony to the kind of cricketing talent this province has. It is also an encouragement to the cricketing community of Jaffna and rural cricketers across the Island. I am confident that LPL will further boost cricketing interest among young cricketers and offer real opportunities in the future. Our consortium shall strive to work beyond the LPL matches and make real grassroots progress to help the development of cricket in Jaffna. We hope one day one of our kids will play at national and international level,” Waran said in a statement.
“It gives me immense pleasure to present this team to the world, and I am sure we will go all the way to the final with Thisara Perera as the captain and Thilina Kandamby as the coach. We are also very proud to present the three home-grown talented youngsters from Jaffna, Theivendram Dinoshan (18), Vijayakanth Viyaskanth (19) and Kanagarathnam Kabilraj (21) who will play a very important role in the team. I was born and brought up in Jaffna until my late teens and I am now, by God’s grace, working in the UK,” said A Anandan, Chief Strategist of Jaffna Stallions.
“We grew up with tennis ball cricket using makeshift bats of our own handicraft, sometimes we even play cricket on paddy fields, and we call vayal, during dry seasons. Sadly 30 plus years later we observe that Jaffna is still far behind in cricketing facilities such as grounds with turf wickets etc. Our consortium comprises a group of humble people who wish to ring hope for aspiring youth in Jaffna enabling a new pathway to gain entry to higher grade cricket,” he added.
SLC VP and LPL Tournament Director Ravin Wickramaratne said, “There is a huge pool of raw talent in every part of Sri Lanka. SLC has always thrived to develop the game in every nook and corner of the Island and I am extremely happy that the Jaffna Stallions too share the same vision for the game. I wish the team all the very best for the LPL.”
Promoter of LPL, Dubai-based production giant IPG CEO Anil Mohan added, “Sri Lanka is all set to witness a new chapter in its cricketing history with LPL and I am confident that the Jaffna team’s performance will help the League grow in stature. The Jaffna team is a good mix of experience and youth and I am sure the fans here will have plenty to cheer about.”
The schedule for the Lanka Premier League (LPL) was announced on Friday with Colombo competing against Galle in the opening match of the tournament on November 21 at the Mahinda Rajapaksa International Cricket Stadium in Hambantota.
On day two of the tournament, Kandy will take on Jaffna while Dambulla will play against Colombo in Hambantota. The two semi-finals and the final will be played at Pallekele International Cricket Stadium in Kandy. The final of the tournament will be played on December 13 with December 14 being kept as a reserve day