Lanka Premier League delayed to November 21 to meet 'quarantine requirements'
The starting date of Lanka Premier League (LPL) has been pushed to November 21 to adjust to the strict quarantine rules for foreign players, Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) announced on Wednesday.
The 23-match tournament was originally scheduled to begin in August and was later shifted to November 14 but it has now been delayed by another week to meet the government's health regulations.
The move is also aimed at ensuring the participation of those players who are currently engaged in the Indian Premier League by giving them enough time to undergo mandatory isolation before taking part in the event.
“Since the IPL will go until the 10th of November, we thought to keep some space for the players taking part in the IPL, and who wish to make it to the LPL to take part in the tournament," said LPL tournament director Ravin Wickramaratne.
Additionally, the remainder of Pakistan Super League 2020 will take place from November 14 to 17 and the one-week deferment allows those players to be ready for the LPL assignment.
Accordingly, the player draft for the LPL has been postponed to October 9 instead of the initial date of October 1. A total of 150 international cricketers including Chris Gayle, Shahid Afridi, Colin Munro, Shakib Al Hasan and Vernon Philander will be part of the LPL auction.
The competition features five teams named after the Sri Lanka cities of Colombo, Kandy, Galle, Dambulla and Jaffna while the matches will be staged at Rangiri Dambulla International Cricket Stadium, Pallekele International Cricket Stadium and Mahinda Rajapakse International Cricket Stadium.
Sri Lanka's rigid stance on maintaining a two-week quarantine for tourists had earlier forced Bangladesh to call off their three-Test tour of the country at the end of October.
Sri Lanka are yet to play international cricket since the coronavirus outbreak caused disruption in the sporting calendar.