The Galle-based franchise, Galle Gladiators will be one of the first five teams participating in the inaugural edition of the Lankan Premier League (LPL) in 2020. They will lock horns against the Jaffna Stallions on Match 2 of LPL 2020 on November 27. The team has the right balance of local and foreign players in each of the four departments - batsmen, bowlers, wicket-keepers and the all-rounders.
- Local Players
- Foreign Players
- Interesting Players to Watch out for
- Support Staff
The Gladiators can boast of one of the best bowlers in T20 cricket, Lasith Malinga. The veteran cricketer has skipped the Indian Premier League this season and stayed back home in Sri Lanka. While it means that he will be fresh for the tournament, he will also have to ensure that he gets enough match practice coming into LPL.
Malinga will have at his disposal two widely recognised spinners, Akila Dananjaya and Lakshan Sandakan. They will be itching to bowl in the T20 League since they haven’t played a lot of cricket in the past few months.
Galle Gladiators also have three Sri Lankan batting all-rounders in the side in the form of Danushka Gunathilaka, the aggressive Shehan Jayasuriya and Milinda Siriwardana. These three players are rated highly in the island nation and have shown signs of becoming future superstars if they play to their potential. The LPL might be the perfect platform for players of their calibre to make a mark and turn the heads of the national selectors.
The swashbuckling South African opener Colin Ingram will most likely be their permanent opener throughout the competition. The left-hander has scored over 6600 runs in T20 cricket at a strike rate of just over 140. He might be just the opener that Gladiators would have liked to place for a match-defining start to their innings.
The Gladiators have roped in the Afghanistan dynamite Hazratullah Zazai. In his short career so far, the southpaw has shown the immense striking ability that very few have shown over the years. Zazai will be remembered for his innings of 162 runs off just 62 balls against Ireland in a T20I. His team in the LPL would like to watch the same Zazai set the tournament on fire.
They have two Pakistan stalwarts in Sarfaraz Ahmed and Mohammad Amir. These two cricketers will provide a boost to the Gladiators side with the bat and ball respectively. Amir can swing the new ball in any conditions and his opening spells are a thing to watch. Ahmed on the other hand has had a quite few seasons with the bat but might go berserk in the LPL.
Interesting Players to Watch out for
The X-factor player that Galle Gladiators possess is the Pakistan legend Shahid Afridi. The enigmatic 40-year-old all-rounder will be making yet another comeback to professional cricket after the COVID-19 pandemic halted the Pakistan Super League back in his homeland. In PSL 2020, he has returned with just 4 wickets and 87 runs in 7 games but he has the ability to finish games on his day.
Nadeem Omar of the Omar Associates, who also owns the Quetta Gladiators in the Pakistan Super League, is the owner of the Galle Gladiators. They have the Pakistani fast-bowling legend Wasim Akram for the mentor’s role. Zaheer Abbas has been appointed as the Chairman as Moin Khan and Azam Khan will be the Head coach and manager respectively.