Former South African opener Herschelle Gibbs has been appointed the head coach of Lanka Premier League (LPL) side Colombo Kings, the franchise revealed on Thursday.
Using their official Twitter handle, the Colombo Kings wrote:
"Meet our new #KingsBrainsTrust @hershybru @HerathRSL."
Gibbs will work alongside former Sri Lankan spinner Rangana Herath in the team's coaching department. Sri Lankan all-rounder Angelo Mathews currently captains the Colombo Kings.
Gibbs has featured in 90 Tests and 248 ODIs for South Africa, scoring 6167 and 8094 runs respectively. Herath, on the hand, picked up 433 Test wickets and 74 ODI scalps in 93 and 71 matches respectively. It will be interesting to see how the two former players work together to get the best out of the Colombo Kings.
LPL hit by big names pulling out
Even as Gibbs joined the Colombo Kings on Thursday, the popularity of the LPL has been hit severely due to a number of prominent names pulling out of the tournament.
Chris Gayle, Liam Plunkett and Sri Lanka’s very own Lasith Malinga have decided to give the LPL a miss this year. Gayle and Plunkett were supposed to turn out for Kandy Tuskers, and their exits were confirmed by the franchise.
“We are sad to announce that Chris Gayle will not be playing for us in this year’s @LPLT20,” the Tuskers tweeted on the Universe Boss’ withdrawal from LPL.
A little while later, another tweet from the team's official Twitter handle read:
“We are also sad to announce that Liam Plunkett will also not be playing in this year’s @LPLT20."
As for Malinga, he was supposed to lead the Galle Gladiators, but opted out, citing a lack of match practice.
“Since the West Indies series early this year, I haven’t had any cricket, and there hasn’t been any training for me at all. When the draft happened last month, I thought there would be about three weeks of training before the LPL, but there has been nothing," said Malinga.
"They are only having us come to Hambantota this week, and even there, they are asking us to do three days of quarantine,” Malinga was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo.
As of now, former India all-rounder Irfan Pathan, Munaf Patel, Kusal Perera, Kusal Mendis and Nuwan Pradeep are some of the well-known international names confirmed to take part in the LPL.
Five teams will compete in 23 matches in the LPL. The Colombo Kings will take on the Kandy Tuskers in the opening match at the Mahinda Rajapaksa International Cricket Stadium in Hambantota on November 26th.
Double-headers will be held every day till the semi-finals of the tournament. The LPL final will take place on December 16th.