Shahid Afridi and Sarfaraz Ahmed, the former Pakistan skippers will play in the upcoming Lankan Premier League for Galle Gladiators which is a team bought by the owner of Pakistan Super League franchise Quetta Gladiators. The announcement of their inclusion in the squad was made by Nadeem Omar, who owns Quetta Gladiators, during a reception held to unveil the Galle Gladiators outfit.
Sri Lankan Cricket were confident of attracting more overseas cricketers which included Indian players too. Former Indian all-rounder Irfan Pathan had earlier expressed his desire to take part in the competition. A franchise-based T-20 tournament was conducted in Sri Lanka in 2012 called Sri Lanka Premier League but that ran into several controversies and was not held again.
Shahid Afridi Named As Icon Player Of Galle Gladiators
Shahid Afridi was named the icon player of the Galle Gladiators and the former allrounder took to twitter to thank Omar. Shahid Afridi had slammed the then fastest century against a hapless Sri Lanka in 1996 off only 37 balls as a 16-year-old teenager so the Lankan territory is not unfamiliar to him.
“Proud to be the icon player for Galle Gladiators. I want to thank Nadeem Omar bhai and also congratulate him for being the first franchise owner from Pakistan in the #LPL. I’ll be seeing you all in,” tweeted the 40-year-old, who last played a T20 event for Multan Sultans in the PSL this year.
The inaugural event is scheduled to be held from November 14 to December 6 and the Sri Lankan board has already sold all rights of its league including broadcasting and media rights. Five teams representing five cities may participate in the Lanka Premier League but the Pakistan Cricket Board’s announcement meanwhile that it would hold its remaining four PSL matches between November 14 and 17, many Pakistani players might be unable to attend the initial stage of the event.
Lanka Premier League Means A Lot To Sri Lankan Board
The Sri Lankan board is counting a lot on the Lanka Premier League to resume cricket activities at home after cancellation and postponement of five international commitments due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Sri Lanka has comparatively reported only 3000 cases of the virus since March while around 24 died which is comparatively low compared to the cases in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh.
Nadeem Omar said the purpose of buying stakes in the Galle team was to help promote the Sri Lanka league and also because of the old friendly ties between Pakistan and Sri Lankan cricket. The tournament will be played at three international venues which are Rangiri Dambulla, Pallekele and Suriyawewa Mahinda Rajapakse International Cricket Stadium.