SLC set to relaunch Sri Lanka Premier League in August 2018; Nidahas Trophy to act as launch pad

The previous edition of the SLPL had kicked off in 2012 and ran into immediate problems with cancellations in the next two years due to organisational issues and lack of sponsorship.

FirstCricket Staff, February 19, 2018

Colombo: Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) last week announced the relaunch of the Sri Lanka Premier League (SLPL) from August 2018.

According to reports, the T20 competition in Sri Lanka will comprise six teams with local and foreign players. However, there are doubts regarding the availability of the big international stars, who might be involved with other leagues scheduled at the same time.

SLC CEO Ashley de Silva said that the SLPL will be played between 18 August to 10 September when Sri Lanka's international calendar is free.

File image of Sri Lankan cricket fans enjoying their time in the stadium. AFP

Sri Lankan cricket fans will have a lot to cheer when the SLPL is relaunched. AFP

However, the dates will coincide with other T20 leagues, with the Caribbean Premier League to be played from 8 August to 16 September, and the Natwest T20 Blast in England slated to be held from 4 July to 15 September.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) does not provide no objection certificates (NOC) to Indian (men's) players to be involved in any other franchise-based tournaments. Despite this fact, the Sri Lankan board is keen and hopeful to rope in some Indian talent for their T20 competition.

A SLC official was quoted by Cricbuzz, "These are still early stages and we need to put up the processes of conducting the tournament. One area that we will certainly look at is the possibility of attracting Indian players for the event. We have a very good relationship with the BCCI and they have always supported us and we are hopeful of getting their support to make the event a success. Even if we aren't able to attract top Indian players, the participation of uncapped Indians will help us to market the event better," said the official.
De Silva said that the first round will comprise 10 games with each team playing each other twice.

The previous edition of the SLPL had kicked off in 2012 and ran into immediate problems with cancellations in the next two years due to organisational issues and lack of sponsorship.

The upcoming Nidahas Trophy, which is being held to commemorate Sri Lanka's 70th year of independence, will have Bangladesh and India participating alongside hosts Sri Lanka in a T20 tri-series, which will be used as a launchpad for the recommencement of the SLPL.

"The Nidahas Trophy is going to give us that platform, the The Nidahas Trophy is going to give us the place where we have never ever seen our country's cricket being positioned in the global market," Sri Lanka Cricket president Thilanga Sumathipala was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo. 

The tournament is expected to be viewed globally, with over 150 countries able to access broadcasts. The global scale of the Nidahas Trophy will provide a foundation from which the SLC can develop the SLPL.

DSports have grabbed the broadcasting and media rights for India, while Channel 9 will telecast it in Bangladesh. The tournament will be live streamed on ITW to 150 countries.

With inputs from PTI

Updated Date: Feb 19, 2018

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