Sri Lanka Premier League, 2012 July 3, 2012

Gayle and Afridi international icons for SLPL


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

  • shahadat 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

  • Cricket 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.

  • Cricket 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.

  • Manesh on July 5, 2012, 11:52 GMT

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

  • Dummy4 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.

  • Dummy4 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.

  • Dummy4 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.

  • Dummy4 on July 4, 2012, 14:44 GMT

    coollll superb Afridi is the one can ignore him whether national or international campaigns :)

  • Dummy4 on July 4, 2012, 13:57 GMT

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

  • JOYNAL on July 4, 2012, 13:34 GMT

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

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