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SLC seeks agency partner for Lankan Premier League

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

Sri Lanka Cricket is considering running its Lankan Premier League T20 tournament in August and September.

The board is advertising for a sports marketing agency to help it manage and promote the competition, which has “proposed dates” from August 15 to September 4. It would feature 23 games over 16 game days, with a double round robin format leading to semi-finals and a final.

The advertisement says the agency partner it is seeking would “join hands with SLC in procuring and managing Franchise Ownerships for the LPL and/or in partnering with the SLC as a sponsor of the entire tournament”, and would be involved in “the short, medium and long term operation, management and brand development of the LPL”. Expressions of interest are called for by 1pm Sri Lankan time tomorrow, June 24.

ESPNCricinfo reported that SLC chief executive Ashley da Silva has written to other cricket boards about the plan, and that foreign players had been contacted about taking part in the tournament.

It is proposed that each team in the tournament will have a squad of 16 players including up to six international players, plus 10 support staff including up to two international coaches. Games will take place in four venues, including the R Premadasa, Pallekele and Rangiri Dambulla international cricket stadiums.

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

SLC, like other cricket boards, is looking for ways to generate revenue following the interruption of the cricket calendar by Covid-19. The board’s revenues are under even greater pressure due to the expiry earlier this year of its global media rights deal with Indian subcontinent pay-television broadcaster Sony Pictures Networks. SLC has run several tenders to secure a new global media rights partner, but has not been satisfied with the offers it has received.

Earlier this month, India postponed its planned tour of Sri Lanka in July. India tours are highly lucrative for host cricket boards due to the value of the media rights in India.

SLC is running a domestic T10 competition beginning this week.