Colombo: The Lanka Premier League (LPL) will go ahead as it has got government clearance despite the county experiencing a spike in the number of coronavirus cases, tournament director Ravin Wickramaratne said on Thursday.
Wickramaratne, however, said that the start of the tournament could be delayed by a week. It was scheduled to begin on 21 November.
The tournament will also be confined to the Mahinda Rajapaksa stadium in Hambantota, instead of three venues planned earlier. Originally, the tournament was also to take place in Pallekele and Kandy.
"We have received the government clearance to go ahead with observing health guidelines," Wickramaratne said.
The government clearance was given after a high level meeting attended by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Sports Minister Namal Rajapaksa and COVID-19 prevention officer, Wickramaratne said.
He said that the authorities have agreed to the relaxation of health guidelines by limiting the quarantine period to seven days for players. The players would also be allowed to train during the quarantine period.
The likes of Chris Gayle and Faf Du Plessis are among the foreign players to participate in the LPL.
Sri Lanka is currently going through a second wave of the pandemic. The western province where the capital city Colombo is located has been under curfew since last week.
The number of COVID-19 cases has trebled since early October.
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Two members of the South African squad have tested positive for COVID since the squad assembled last week and two other players had to go into isolation because of their close contact with one of the infected players.
Haque's coronavirus positive result came close on the heels of another senior player Mahmudullah Riyad contracting the virus which forced him to miss the Pakistan Super League play-offs.
Gayle and Plunkett's withdrawals were confirmed by their franchise Kandy Tuskers, Malinga pulled out citing "inadequate preparation time", said a report