In a disappointing development for Sri Lankan cricket fans, the country's cricket board has postponed the second season of the Lanka Premier League (LPL 2021).
Last month, Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) announced that the 2021 edition of the Lanka Premier League would begin on July 30. However, on Saturday (June 5), the organizers tentatively postponed the competition until the end of August because of the increasing COVID-19 cases in the country.
The Lanka Premier League's inaugural season was conducted last year from November 26 to December 16. Five teams - the Jaffna Stallions, Galle Gladiators, Kandy Tuskers, Dambulla Viiking and Colombo Kings - participated in the tournament.
The Jaffna Stallions emerged as the inaugural LPL winners, while the Galle Gladiators ended as the runners-up. Some big international names like Shahid Afridi, Andre Russell, Irfan Pathan, Mohammad Amir, Paul Stirling, Shoaib Malik and Dale Steyn participated in LPL 2020.
With the ICC T20 World Cup and IPL 2021 set to be played in the second part of the year, Sri Lanka Cricket might have to conduct LPL 2021 in the months of November and December. If they organize matches around September, quite a few big names may be unavailable.
Lanka Premier League is not the first competition to be postponed due to COVID-19
The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted cricket tournaments across the world. Earlier this year, the PCB and the BCCI had to postpone the Pakistan Super League and the Indian Premier League, respectively. Last year, the ICC postponed the T20 World Cup due to the pandemic.
The Lanka Premier League gave young Sri Lankan cricketers an opportunity to play with international stars early in their careers. SLC would be keen to finalize the new dates for LPL 2021 soon.
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