Lanka Premier League received a shot in the arm after it was confirmed that pace sensation Dale Steyn will be arriving in the island shortly and will turn out for Kandy Tuskers. However, he will miss the first two games of the competition due to the mandatory isolation period that players have to go through.
Players who had been arriving in Sri Lanka from a bubble had been given a three day isolation period before they could resume training while others had to stay in isolation for seven days. Accordingly, Steyn will be unavailable for the Kandy Tuskers first two games.
However, sources close to the organizers told The Island that negotiations are being made to make exceptions and South Africa’s premier bowler could get into action straightaway if he gets two negative PCR tests, one before departure to Katunayake and one on arrival.
Guidelines have been issued by health authorities to follow strict quarantine guidelines after two players tested positive after arriving in the island. They are now receiving medical treatment and by the time they recover and finish quarantine, the competition would have reached the tail end.
Galle Gladiators received a major boost yesterday after Shahid Afridi confirmed his participation. However, Afridi tweeted that he had missed his flight to Colombo but said will be joining his team mates soon.
The players, support staff and television crew have been in isolation at various hotels in Hambantota for the last several days.
The tournament gets underway on Thursday with Colombo Kings captained by Angelo Mathews taking on Kusal Perera’s Kandy Tuskers.
The tournament was postponed on several occasions as the pandemic posed many challenges for the organizers. But to their credit, they have addressed most of the issues in putting through the event involving five franchises.
Sri Lanka Cricket will earn US$ two million in the first year and the five year deal will bring them a sum in excess of US$ ten million.