The 2021 season of the Lanka Premier League (LPL) has been postponed, with a formal announcement from Sri Lanka Cricket expected soon. The second edition of the T20 tournament, to be held at the Mahinda Rajapakse International Cricket Stadium in Hambantota from July 30 to August 22, can now be held in November-December. However, before that, the organizers will have to overcome many hurdles.
The immediate reason for the postponement is the absence of foreign players but the rights holders of LPL, a joint venture of Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) and Dubai-based innovative production group FZE (IPG). An official said that it (postponement) is not just about the participation of foreign players. There is also an atmosphere of uncertainty over Sri Lankan players. So we have thought that the suspension was the best solution at this stage.
According to reports the decision was taken in consultation with Lankan Sports Minister Namal Rajapaksa, on whose support, the LPL could have been launched last year. The biggest issue is the standoff between Sri Lanka Cricket and Sri Lankan players. The players, who have been at loggerheads with the board over central contracts, have agreed to set aside their protests for the India series starting July 13 in Colombo. Sri Lankan players have signed contracts for the series against India. The contract has now been made series wise, while not making an annual contract.
It is also being claimed in some reports that the Lanka Premier League has been postponed due to the sudden announcement of the schedule of the Kashmir Premier League. However, there is no concrete reaction or statement behind this argument. The decision to go ahead with the tournament has probably been taken due to the players’ ongoing standoff with the board. The situation will become clear in the coming time.