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LPL in 'final stages' of confirming new owners for Dambulla franchise

Dambulla Thunders' contract was terminated on Wednesday following the arrest of team owner Tamim Rahman in Colombo

Tamim Rahman, a owner of the Dambulla franchise in the LPL in Sri Lanka, is escorted by a policeman, Colombo, May 22, 2024

Tamim Rahman, a owner of the Dambulla franchise in the LPL in Sri Lanka, is escorted by a policeman  •  Ishara S Kodikara/AFP via Getty Images

Lanka Premier League organisers have said they are "in the final stages of confirming the new ownership" of the Dambulla franchise, a day after Dambulla Thunders co-owner Tamim Rahman was arrested.
As a result of the arrest, under Sri Lanka's Prevention of Offences Related to Sports Act, the Thunders franchise was terminated by Sri Lanka Cricket and the IPG group (which runs the tournament), on Wednesday. Although the scheduled start of the next LPL is a little over five weeks away, IPG has announced that the tournament will go ahead with its "full schedule and roster of matches, featuring five teams."
Since its inception in 2020, the LPL has been a five-team competition. On Tuesday, SLC hosted the player auction for this year, with Dambulla Thunders filling out their roster. If new owners take over, they will likely inherit that roster, with the other teams having also filled out their player lists.
Through the course of its history, the LPL has struggled to hold on to its franchise owners. In fact, Dambulla's next owner would be the fifth owner of that franchise in five years, with previous teams having been called Dambulla Aura, Dambulla Giants and Dambulla Viiking.
"IPG has always upheld the highest standards of propriety and integrity as the Event Rights Partner of the Lanka Premier League," IPG said in the same statement. "Our dedication to maintaining these standards remains unwavering. We assure all players, fans, and stakeholders that the league's integrity and the spirit of cricket will be preserved throughout the tournament."
The tournament is scheduled to run from July 1 to July 21. Matches will be played in Pallekele, Dambulla, and Colombo.

Andrew Fidel Fernando is a senior writer at ESPNcricinfo. @afidelf