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Lanka Premier League aims for August start

Sri Lanka's Shehan Jayasuriya plays a shot as West Indies' Nicholas Pooran looks on (Photo by ISHARA S. KODIKARA/AFP via Getty Images)

The inaugural Lanka Premier League T20 tournament will launch next month, pending government approval, Sri Lanka Cricket has announced.

The tournament will see five teams compete over 23 games, and is set to feature more than 70 international players.

SLC gave its approval to the tournament during its executive committee meeting on July 27. The event is subject to government and Ministry of Health approval due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

If given the green light, the tournament will be played at five venues: the R. Premadasa stadium, the Rangiri Dambulu stadium, the Pallekele stadium and the Suriyawewa Mahinda Rajapakse stadium. Five teams named after the cities of Colombo, Kandy, Galle, Dambulla and Jaffna will participate.

Each franchise team will be allowed a maximum of six foreign players in their squad, with only four in the final eleven.

The SLC is looking for an agency to manage the competition’s commercial rights. Bidding for the position is due to close on July 30.

Sri Lanka has had success in curbing the spread of Covid-19. The Times of India reports that, from August, the country is lifting the requirement that visitors to the country enter quarantine, replacing it with a requirement to return two negative Covid-19 tests – one shortly before travelling and one shortly after arrival.