Sri Lanka’s cricket authorities have shelved plans to relaunch their Twenty-20 league akin to the massively lucrative Indian Premier League. The Sri Lankan cricket board has instead announced a local tournament with no foreign players.
With an eye on the billions of dollars and millions of viewers drawn to the IPL, Sri Lanka Cricket had launched its own premier league in 2012. The league could not take off and was called off after only one season.
But a board official said the plans had been scrapped and replaced by the Sri Lanka Cricket T20 League, which would feature exclusively local players.
“There will be no foreign players, but our own international cricketers will play in the four teams that will take part (in the Sri Lanka Cricket T20 league),” a board official said. The new league will nurture emerging local talent by giving young players the opportunity to play alongside the island’s best, the official said.
The four teams will face each other twice in the tournament, which is slated to begin on August 21.
With millions continuing to tune in for IPL after 10 seasons, Sri Lanka Cricket hoped to revive the tournament modelled on the lucrative T20 tournament that has continued to rope in big foreign talents such as Ben Stokes and Chris Gayle.
International cricket boards, lured by the grand success of the Indian Premier League, had made ambitious plans to launch their T20 leagues. But only a few have succeeded. Last year, Cricket South Africa were forced to scrap the Global T20 even after the players draft was completed.