Sri Lanka Premier League, 2012 July 3, 2012

Gayle and Afridi international icons for SLPL

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West Indies opener Chris Gayle and Pakistan allrounder Shahid Afridi, among the biggest entertainers in the Twenty20 format, have been named the two international icon players in the inaugural Sri Lanka Premier League that begins August 10. The presence of the duo, who will join five other Sri Lanka players as icons of their respective teams, lends the fledgling league some star power and has the potential to boost viewership.

Gayle, who is set to play New Zealand in five ODIs and two Tests at home in a series that ends August 6, will represent the Uva province, while Afridi will play for Nagenahira, ESPNcricinfo has learned.

Last week Sri Lanka Cricket auctioned the seven Sri Lanka Premier League teams for an average price of $4.3 million. A number of Indian companies are believed to have successfully bid for teams in the Sri Lanka Premier League (SLPL), highlighting the lure of the franchise model in cricket's largest market despite the BCCI's reluctance to allow Indian players to participate.

Among the companies are the Wadhawan Group, a business conglomerate with interests in real estate, retail and education, India Cricket Dundee, an Indian fan organisation along the lines of the Barmy Army, and the Delhi-based Rudra Group, which also has interests in real estate.

A player draft will be conducted on July 5 and 6, with a lottery held to determine the order in which players are picked. SLC will determine the value of the contract for each player in advance and the franchises will be made aware of the cost of the player. The players will be drafted in two groups - the first consisting of players from Sri Lanka and the second, the foreign players. The draft is being seen as the best way to ensure that players are evenly distributed among the teams, making it a level playing field.

The SLPL will run for three weeks, with the final to be held on August 31. There will be 24 games in total, split between Colombo and Pallekele. Teams will be allowed a maximum of 18 players, out of which six can be foreign players. Teams will be allowed play a maximum of four foreign players per game. Out of the remaining seven players in the XI, one must be a Sri Lanka Under-21 international.

Tariq Engineer is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY wiseshah on | July 5, 2012, 17:43 GMT

    i think ashraful and mashrafe will be bought by SLPL, also alok kapali who is the highest scorer in ICL--should be bought. he could be handy allrounder with mahmudullah riad

  • POSTED BY Sports4Youth on | July 5, 2012, 13:47 GMT

    Posted by Kamrul Alam on (July 04 2012, 07:55 AM GMT) :- I totally agree with Kamrul that IPL is a copied version of the original ICL started by Kapil Dev.

  • POSTED BY Sports4Youth on | July 5, 2012, 13:42 GMT

    @ fAst_Track_bully :- Afridi has said he IS THINKING OF RETIREMENT FROM ODI's . He did not say anything about T20's and leaaague matches. Best of Luck Shahid Khan Afridi.

  • POSTED BY Fast_Track_Bully on | July 5, 2012, 11:52 GMT

    Afridi will retire before the league ends...then what will the team do?

  • POSTED BY on | July 4, 2012, 17:04 GMT

    When will PPL start ? I think PCB should learn from Sri Lankan Board and make it certain to organise a similar league.

  • POSTED BY on | July 4, 2012, 15:19 GMT

    Don't go away shahid. Afridi was on course to become a successful captain but the PCB management messed up all. He should be the captain till the world cup in 2015. PCB should fire the seniors like Misbah and Younas and bring in the new blood under the leadership of Shahid Afridi. He still has a lot to offer for Pak cricket. In my opinion he should continue till the next WC.

  • POSTED BY on | July 4, 2012, 15:08 GMT

    Wow, Shahid Afridi is definitely one of the best 20/20 all-rounders from what I have seen. And one of the most important and best 20/20 players on the planet. No wonder Pakistan have already a 20/20 World Cup Trophy in their Trophy case. Afridi can really entertain and he can play the other formats too.

  • POSTED BY on | July 4, 2012, 14:44 GMT

    coollll superb Afridi is the superstar...no one can ignore him whether national or international campaigns :)

  • POSTED BY on | July 4, 2012, 13:57 GMT

    Best of Luck to our Sri Lankan brother. Pakistani cricket Fan

  • POSTED BY joynal693 on | July 4, 2012, 13:34 GMT

    Good to see Shakib Al Hasan, the best allrounder of the world in the SLPL.

  • POSTED BY wiseshah on | July 5, 2012, 17:43 GMT

    i think ashraful and mashrafe will be bought by SLPL, also alok kapali who is the highest scorer in ICL--should be bought. he could be handy allrounder with mahmudullah riad

  • POSTED BY Sports4Youth on | July 5, 2012, 13:47 GMT

    Posted by Kamrul Alam on (July 04 2012, 07:55 AM GMT) :- I totally agree with Kamrul that IPL is a copied version of the original ICL started by Kapil Dev.

  • POSTED BY Sports4Youth on | July 5, 2012, 13:42 GMT

    @ fAst_Track_bully :- Afridi has said he IS THINKING OF RETIREMENT FROM ODI's . He did not say anything about T20's and leaaague matches. Best of Luck Shahid Khan Afridi.

  • POSTED BY Fast_Track_Bully on | July 5, 2012, 11:52 GMT

    Afridi will retire before the league ends...then what will the team do?

  • POSTED BY on | July 4, 2012, 17:04 GMT

    When will PPL start ? I think PCB should learn from Sri Lankan Board and make it certain to organise a similar league.

  • POSTED BY on | July 4, 2012, 15:19 GMT

    Don't go away shahid. Afridi was on course to become a successful captain but the PCB management messed up all. He should be the captain till the world cup in 2015. PCB should fire the seniors like Misbah and Younas and bring in the new blood under the leadership of Shahid Afridi. He still has a lot to offer for Pak cricket. In my opinion he should continue till the next WC.

  • POSTED BY on | July 4, 2012, 15:08 GMT

    Wow, Shahid Afridi is definitely one of the best 20/20 all-rounders from what I have seen. And one of the most important and best 20/20 players on the planet. No wonder Pakistan have already a 20/20 World Cup Trophy in their Trophy case. Afridi can really entertain and he can play the other formats too.

  • POSTED BY on | July 4, 2012, 14:44 GMT

    coollll superb Afridi is the superstar...no one can ignore him whether national or international campaigns :)

  • POSTED BY on | July 4, 2012, 13:57 GMT

    Best of Luck to our Sri Lankan brother. Pakistani cricket Fan

  • POSTED BY joynal693 on | July 4, 2012, 13:34 GMT

    Good to see Shakib Al Hasan, the best allrounder of the world in the SLPL.

  • POSTED BY on | July 4, 2012, 13:24 GMT

    all the very best to shahid- afridi for his upcoming journey in SLPL. he is an amazing cricketer & great fighter indeed. it sad to know that Pakistan never realized & respected his immense talent & lots of controversies being tagged with one of the greats of cricket history. ALL THE BEST BOOM BOOM- WE ALL LOVE YOU & WANT TO SEE YOU PLAYING FOR A LONGER PERIOD.

  • POSTED BY on | July 4, 2012, 13:13 GMT

    we will rock with RR & BB......................

  • POSTED BY on | July 4, 2012, 12:51 GMT

    West Indies opener Chris Gayle and Pakistan allrounder Shahid Afridi, among the biggest entertainers in the Twenty20 format, have been named the two international icon players in the inaugural Sri Lanka Premier League that begins August 10. The presence of the duo, who will join five other Sri Lanka players as icons of their respective teams, lends the fledgling league some star power and has the potential to boost viewership.

    Gayle, who is set to play New Zealand in five ODIs and two Tests at home in a series that ends August 6, will represent the Uva province, while Afridi will play for Nagenahira, ESPNcricinfo has learned.

  • POSTED BY ercdanbu on | July 4, 2012, 12:49 GMT

    Why should we remove Murali's name. He is one of the legends of cricket and SL should be proud of making him as the Icon.Lankans are still struggling for a test series win without him.......... Murali we love youuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu....

  • POSTED BY on | July 4, 2012, 12:20 GMT

    the name could have been different sri lanka premier league sounds odd

  • POSTED BY on | July 4, 2012, 12:18 GMT

    I m agree with Mohsin nawaz..

  • POSTED BY on | July 4, 2012, 11:51 GMT

    NICE BOOM BOOM PLAY WITH FULL SWING AND DAY GHUMA K

  • POSTED BY on | July 4, 2012, 10:40 GMT

    AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII

  • POSTED BY on | July 4, 2012, 8:46 GMT

    please remove the name of murli from icon players if u want to add any srilankan player u can put angelo mathews he is g()oD.

    *I Love You AfriDi*

  • POSTED BY espn.khan on | July 4, 2012, 8:20 GMT

    why are you guys talking about money,talk about the game the fun and THE enthusiastic fans of cricket in Srilanka...go srilanka go..we are with you..

  • POSTED BY ani. on | July 4, 2012, 8:19 GMT

    good to to see Indian companies investing in SLPL

  • POSTED BY on | July 4, 2012, 7:55 GMT

    Sorry you are wrong Mr. Hamid IPL is not a copied verison of Barclays Premier League. It is a copied version of ICL

  • POSTED BY on | July 4, 2012, 7:04 GMT

    Rightly Said.Good luck to both the icons of T20 Cricket.Just waiting to see the BLAST, Javed Sani Los-Angeles USA.

  • POSTED BY on | July 4, 2012, 6:54 GMT

    Spare IPL from SLPL ... there is no comparison in them ...

  • POSTED BY yorkslanka on | July 4, 2012, 6:28 GMT

    @chathuradil- if it works the flat tracks of india, then it will be no problem in sri lanka...

  • POSTED BY ercdanbu on | July 4, 2012, 6:05 GMT

    Yeah SLPL will surely help the SL Cricket board to come out of their financial difficulties but otherwise it is a cheaper version of IPL. Good to see India Inc investing in SLPL.

  • POSTED BY on | July 4, 2012, 5:33 GMT

    GOODLUCK TO AFRIDI AND GAYLE BUT I HOPE THAT LEAGUE WILL NOT EFFECT INTERNATIONAL CRICKET

  • POSTED BY anver777 on | July 4, 2012, 5:11 GMT

    Both are real crowd pullers in this format, so its a good move by SLPL !!!!!

  • POSTED BY chathuradil on | July 4, 2012, 5:03 GMT

    This will not work. T20 in dead pitches???

  • POSTED BY AmjadZork on | July 4, 2012, 5:00 GMT

    Cant wait to watch the SLPL !!!

  • POSTED BY on | July 4, 2012, 4:57 GMT

    afridi really bost SPL he is the greatest player of all the time

  • POSTED BY HamidYakub on | July 4, 2012, 4:51 GMT

    @Aries Khilnani Did you forget Afridi was purchased for 7million dollars by Dhaka Gladiators in Bangladesh Premier League

  • POSTED BY HamidYakub on | July 4, 2012, 4:48 GMT

    @sunil186 IPL is alson an copied version of Barclays Premier League

  • POSTED BY Sulaimaan91 on | July 4, 2012, 4:02 GMT

    @Rehan Sampat yeah its a cheaper version of IPL but no Indian company is co-sponsoring it.The Indian companies have bought the franchises from SLC and will be spending on these franchises as well.So in fact, money will be flowing out of India and into SL.

  • POSTED BY satish619chandar on | July 4, 2012, 3:22 GMT

    Wish the tournament all the luck.. Hope the weather stays clear and doesn't cause too many hindrances to the tournament.. Apart from being serious in tests, fans do need some entertainment too..

  • POSTED BY Abdulhay on | July 4, 2012, 3:08 GMT

    Any Afghan player on the board??

  • POSTED BY shahji99 on | July 4, 2012, 1:43 GMT

    Im so deligted to know Afridi is there, would love to see him in action and will support him all the way, He is amazing with ball and killer with bat on his day.

  • POSTED BY on | July 4, 2012, 1:36 GMT

    @ Ali Tariq - Who said Pak players don't need IPL?? Why don't you ask them?? Their combined salary from PCB and all these leagues would still be lot less than what they would earn in IPL in 45 days!!

  • POSTED BY on | July 4, 2012, 1:19 GMT

    I think SLPL has the potential to become really exciting, given the fact that they are also including Pakistani players which IPL doesnt. Although BPL also allows Pakistani players but their first version was a bit unattractive due to too many Pakistani players, in fact and no Indian or any Sri Lankan mainstream players. I am curious to know how all these "PL"s pan out within the FTP comittments the contries have..

  • POSTED BY snbirdi on | July 4, 2012, 0:51 GMT

    Congrats world! Enjoy the SLPL this once. This will be the first and last time it is played.

  • POSTED BY Ra_Thore on | July 4, 2012, 0:41 GMT

    Just another cheaper version of IPL. Those of you who don't know, SL couldn't afford the tournament until Indian companies decide to own and co-sponsor the event. Lot of money will flow out of SL to India.

  • POSTED BY India_Rules_Everybody on | July 3, 2012, 23:45 GMT

    @Ali Tariq - If Pakistani players so don't need the IPL then why is it that Pakistani people are always repeating the same thing over and over again?? You don't see Indians saying "We don't need Big bash/English T20/South African T20/Pakistani T20/Srilankan T20/Any other T20" but everybody who is left out of the IPL has to say "We don't need the IPL". Sour grapes? :)

  • POSTED BY ElBeeDubya on | July 3, 2012, 23:09 GMT

    Good ideas there, Logical_Voice_SL_Cricket. Especially the ones regarding team names and quota of international players. I hope SLPL will not be another inward and backward looking league.

  • POSTED BY Logical_Voice_SL_Cricket on | July 3, 2012, 22:15 GMT

    im reposting this again cos it seemed relevent. ive been reading these comments for a long time & i thought it was abt time i said what i had to say. First Off,SLPL great idea! i cant imagine the amount of improvement to SL cricket & the country itself if this is successful. it will truly be a Blessing... however there has to be a lot of changes that needs to happen for the SLPL to be successful. DETAILS ARE KEY!, remembering that the SLPL needs to be presented to all the cricket playing nations not just Sri Lanka is also Vital for this operation. the following r imperative! 1. Names def needs to be changed ( uthura = North...and so on) 2. Clothing Colors and Designs needs to look Sharp, aggressive & professional (NO SHINY COLORS!) 3. Pakistan's involvement is CRUCIAL just like India's (Pak fan base is an untapped resource by the other leagues that we can tap into) 4. 5 Foreign per Team per match more ideas comin soon there will always be haters, so SL keep u r chin up & On Wards!

  • POSTED BY on | July 3, 2012, 21:33 GMT

    Gayle will bring the storm

  • POSTED BY Bruisers on | July 3, 2012, 20:42 GMT

    Gayle is a good buy. I think it will benefit him too with the World T20 coming up in Sri Lanka right after the SLPL.

  • POSTED BY on | July 3, 2012, 20:38 GMT

    This proves that Pakistani players DON'T need the IPL because they are popular in other leagues such as the Big Bash in Australia, the FLT20 in the UK, BPL in Bangladesh and now SLPL in Sri Lanka.

  • POSTED BY on | July 3, 2012, 20:06 GMT

    lala and gayle storm in slpl

  • POSTED BY on | July 3, 2012, 19:10 GMT

    Afridi ( Boom Boom ) Shine The SLPL. <3<3<3

  • POSTED BY on | July 3, 2012, 19:08 GMT

    Hope Sunil Narine plays here...will keep him match ready for Champions League & World Cup

  • POSTED BY Stark62 on | July 3, 2012, 18:51 GMT

    Will Afridi be the captain also?

    I'm a huge fan of Afridi and will be cheering on Nagenahira to win the SLPL and, then eventually the CLT20!! :)

  • POSTED BY sunil186 on | July 3, 2012, 18:09 GMT

    Copied version of IPL with less time and teams and money

  • POSTED BY on | July 3, 2012, 18:04 GMT

    @a-a-b hope SLPL organisers will pay the SLPL players dues on time.

  • POSTED BY cshir on | July 3, 2012, 17:48 GMT

    Great to hear!! Always thought Sri Lankans are the greatest warriors!! this'l do them a world of good revenue-wise..

  • POSTED BY BRUTALANALYST on | July 3, 2012, 17:47 GMT

    I guess it will be some good warm up for Gayle ahead of the world-cup this year seeing as W.I have no more y20 or any cricket scheduled after Kiwi odi / test series

  • POSTED BY BRUTALANALYST on | July 3, 2012, 17:45 GMT

    I think Gayle is playing to much man, I hope this doesn't clash with West Indies or cause him any injury.

  • POSTED BY on | July 3, 2012, 17:42 GMT

    Hope some new SLPL Talent gets luck in playing IPL. All the Best folks.

  • POSTED BY on | July 3, 2012, 17:38 GMT

    Good going! Wish you all the best SL!

  • POSTED BY Ahsan72 on | July 3, 2012, 17:24 GMT

    Afrid will rock this SLPL

  • POSTED BY Dilbar786 on | July 3, 2012, 17:23 GMT

    Its makes sense...#1(Boom Boom) and #2(Gayle) T20 player in the Universe!!!

  • POSTED BY PakiPassion on | July 3, 2012, 17:23 GMT

    Great to see some of the best t20 players in the world (Pakistani's) finally get a chance to entertain people.. Best of luck SLPL

  • POSTED BY on | July 3, 2012, 17:16 GMT

    Well, hope SLPL wii be interesting.

  • POSTED BY landsite on | July 3, 2012, 17:08 GMT

    Icon players or not Sunil Narine will again be the pick of the bowlers,there is no doubt that he will be there,i'll be surprised if he is not.I hope the people involved just block out his performances in England because it was just not meant for cricket,even Swann was roughed up and didn't get wickets as he does,he may have got about 4 wickets in the tests and less in the ODI.

  • POSTED BY on | July 3, 2012, 16:51 GMT

    Excellent from SLPL, Being a pak fan, i have always loved sri lanka and their relations with the pakistanis, wish SLPL the best for its future. GO NAGENAHIRA GO. NOW SLPL NEEDS TO MAKE SURE THAT ITS FRANCHISES PICK THE 4 BEST PLAYERS FORM PAK IN T20, IMRAN NAZIR, AHMED SHEHZAD, UMAR AKMAL AND SAEED AJMAL. CANNOT WAIT FOR THIS TOURNAMENT, if anybody knows what TV channel this will come on in the UK (ENGLAND) THEN PLEASE MENTION SO BECOZ I CANNOT MISS THIS.

  • POSTED BY on | July 3, 2012, 16:17 GMT

    Excellent news. Afridi and Gayle are both exciting players and their participation will make the SLPL more intriguing. All the best.

  • POSTED BY on | July 3, 2012, 16:11 GMT

    hope uva win so gayle can be in the champions league

  • POSTED BY wiseshah on | July 3, 2012, 16:03 GMT

    i want to see following players:

    from zimbabwe: masakadza, taylor, chigumbura,price, mpofu,cremer bangladesh: nasir, shakib, tamim, mahmudullah, alok kapali, ashraful, sabbir rahman, naeem islam,mashrafe.

    ireland: kevin o brien, nial o brien, stirling, rankin. these are the players always get neglected--because of heir country.

  • POSTED BY on | July 3, 2012, 15:44 GMT

    best of luck to all, specially the ones who didnt get chance on IPL(the monetary tournament)

  • POSTED BY Syed_imran_abbas on | July 3, 2012, 15:31 GMT

    BOOM BOOM Rocks.. Get imran nazir.. ahmad shahzad.. umer akmal.. guldozer.. kamran akmal.. ajmal.. they will make this event rock. i wish srilanka very best for the even.

  • POSTED BY on | July 3, 2012, 15:24 GMT

    Grt news.Loved to see gayle in SLPL.Expecting the player lottery.

  • POSTED BY a_a_b on | July 3, 2012, 15:21 GMT

    "The SLPL will run for three weeks" ... Hope the IPL folks are taking notes!!!!

  • POSTED BY on | July 3, 2012, 15:09 GMT

    Boom Boom Afridi. He will rock

  • POSTED BY on | July 3, 2012, 15:00 GMT

    I can't even pronounce these franchises names :)

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • POSTED BY on | July 3, 2012, 15:00 GMT

    I can't even pronounce these franchises names :)

  • POSTED BY on | July 3, 2012, 15:09 GMT

    Boom Boom Afridi. He will rock

  • POSTED BY a_a_b on | July 3, 2012, 15:21 GMT

    "The SLPL will run for three weeks" ... Hope the IPL folks are taking notes!!!!

  • POSTED BY on | July 3, 2012, 15:24 GMT

    Grt news.Loved to see gayle in SLPL.Expecting the player lottery.

  • POSTED BY Syed_imran_abbas on | July 3, 2012, 15:31 GMT

    BOOM BOOM Rocks.. Get imran nazir.. ahmad shahzad.. umer akmal.. guldozer.. kamran akmal.. ajmal.. they will make this event rock. i wish srilanka very best for the even.

  • POSTED BY on | July 3, 2012, 15:44 GMT

    best of luck to all, specially the ones who didnt get chance on IPL(the monetary tournament)

  • POSTED BY wiseshah on | July 3, 2012, 16:03 GMT

    i want to see following players:

    from zimbabwe: masakadza, taylor, chigumbura,price, mpofu,cremer bangladesh: nasir, shakib, tamim, mahmudullah, alok kapali, ashraful, sabbir rahman, naeem islam,mashrafe.

    ireland: kevin o brien, nial o brien, stirling, rankin. these are the players always get neglected--because of heir country.

  • POSTED BY on | July 3, 2012, 16:11 GMT

    hope uva win so gayle can be in the champions league

  • POSTED BY on | July 3, 2012, 16:17 GMT

    Excellent news. Afridi and Gayle are both exciting players and their participation will make the SLPL more intriguing. All the best.

  • POSTED BY on | July 3, 2012, 16:51 GMT

    Excellent from SLPL, Being a pak fan, i have always loved sri lanka and their relations with the pakistanis, wish SLPL the best for its future. GO NAGENAHIRA GO. NOW SLPL NEEDS TO MAKE SURE THAT ITS FRANCHISES PICK THE 4 BEST PLAYERS FORM PAK IN T20, IMRAN NAZIR, AHMED SHEHZAD, UMAR AKMAL AND SAEED AJMAL. CANNOT WAIT FOR THIS TOURNAMENT, if anybody knows what TV channel this will come on in the UK (ENGLAND) THEN PLEASE MENTION SO BECOZ I CANNOT MISS THIS.