Sri Lanka is all set launch their own Indian Premier League-style Twenty20 tournament in the country, as Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) Board are planning to launch a new franchise-based contest in 2018 after hosting the Freedom Cup Twenty20 tri-series, featuring India and Bangladesh.
The Freedom Cup Twenty20 tri-series will be played to celebrate Sri Lanka’s 70th year of independence. In the calendar year 2018, it will be the second Twenty20 tri-series to be played, while the first one being the Trans-Tasman tournament featuring Australia, England and New Zealand.
In May 2011, SLC had launched the Sri Lankan Premier League (SLPL) with the first season of the tournament played in 2012, while the league was canceled in 2013 and then 2014 due to financial issues. It is learned that theT20 league is slated to be organized around September.
According to a report in Sportskeeda, SLC President Thilanga Sumathipala told reporters at a press conference in Colombo, “We believe we have the best package, we've got the best formula, we've got the best position to present the next Lankan premier league. The Nidahas Trophy is going to give us that platform, The Nidahas Trophy is going to give us the place where we have never ever seen our country's cricket being positioned in the global market.”
He further added, “In this region, we are the only country that is not playing a franchise-based tournament. We will go to the market and we will find who are the parties that are interested. We are keen to not to repeat the mistakes of the past. We have to make sure that genuine sponsors are coming through. We have to be transparent as this will be a product owned by SLC.”
Sumathipala signed off by saying, “We’re in discussions at the moment, but our matter in hand at the moment is the Nidahas Trophy, which we still have several aspects to finalize.”