The second edition of the Sri Lanka Premier League (LPL) will get underway on December 5, with the final being played on December 23. Galle Gladiators and Jaffna Kings (previously known as Jaffna Stallions) will kick off the tournament at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo.
The format of the tournament have been tweaked for the upcoming season. In the inaugural edition, the format was pretty straightforward with the top four teams reaching the semi-finals. The structure was criticised as it devalued the performance of the top teams given that the last ranked team also had the same percentage of chance of progressing to the final as the top ranked team.
In the upcoming season, the LPL will follow an IPL template with the top two teams playing Qualifier 1 and the bottom two teams featuring in the Eliminator. The winner of the Eliminator will face the loser of Qualifier 1.
“The first round of the tournament, which will consist of 20 games will be played at the RPICS, Colombo before it moves into MRICS, Hambantota to proceed with the final round games,” a media release stated.
After the massive success of the first season, the fans were keenly waiting for the second edition. However, the tournament was postponed several times due to COVID-19 and to avoid clashes with other major tournaments. Also, of the five teams that played in the first season, three have been terminated, including the inaugural champions Jaffa Stallions.
As per reports, as many as 74 international stars, including Imran Tahir, Mohammad Amir, Chris Gayle, Andre Russell, Dawid Malan and Faf du Plessis, have registered for the player draft. The teams can have a 20-member squad, with a maximum of six overseas players.
LPL 2021 Schedule (All time in IST}
December 5, Galle vs Jaffna, 7.30 pm
December 6, Dambulla vs Kandy, 3.30 pm,
Colombo vs Galle, 7.30 pm
December 7, Jaffna vs Dambulla, 3.30 pm
Kandy vs Galle, 7.30 pm
December 8, Colombo vs Dambulla, 3.30 pm,
Kandy vs Jaffna, 7.30 pm
December 9, REST DAY
December 10, Dambulla vs Galle, 3.30 pm
Jaffna vs Colombo, 7.30 pm
December 11, Galle vs Kandy, 3.30 pm
Jaffna vs Colombo, 7.30 pm
December 12, Jaffna vs Kandy, 3.30 pm
Galle vs Colombo, 7.30 pm
December 13, Galle vs Dambulla, 7.30 pm
December 14, Kandy vs Colombo, 3.30 pm
Dambulla vs Jaffna, 7.30 pm
December 15, REST DAY
December 16, Colombo vs Jaffna, 3.30 pm
Kandy vs Dambulla, 7.30 pm
December 17, Jaffna vs Galle, 3.30 pm
Colombo vs Kandy, 7.30 pm
December 18 & 19, REST AND TRAVEL DAY
December 2, Eliminator (Team 3 vs Team 4}, 3.30 pm
Qualifier 1, (Team 2 vs Team 4}, 7.30 pm
December 21, Qualifier 2 (Looser of Qualifier 1 vs winner of Eliminator}, 7.30 pm
December 22, REST DAY
December 23, Final, 7.30 pm
December 24, FINAL RESERVE DAY.