New Delhi: Chris Gayle, the boss of T-20 cricket, has announced withdrawal from the inaugural Lanka Premier League. Apart from him, Sri Lankan cricketer Lasith Malinga, England pacer Liam Plunkett and Pakistan's wicketkeeper-batsman Sarfaraz Ahmed have also pulled out of the tournament.
Gayle's franchise Kandy Tuskers has shared that he will not be travelling to Sri Lanka owing to an injury. "We are sad to announce that Chris Gayle will not be playing for us in this year's @LPLT20_", they wrote on their Twitter account.
In a separate tweet, they also announced that "Liam Plunkett will also not be playing in this year's @LPLT20_"
Meanwhile, Malinga's exit from the tournament has also caught everyone off-guard. The Sri Lankan bowler was expected to lead Galle Gladiators. According to an ESPNcricinfo report, his withdrawal has been promoted by the lack of cricket and training this year.
"Since the West Indies series early this year, I haven't had any cricket. and there hasn't been any training for me at all. When the draft happened last month, I thought there would be about three weeks of training before the LPL, but there has been nothing. They are only having us come to Hambantota this week even they are asking us to do three days of quarantine," he was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo.
Meanwhile, Pakistan cricketer Sarfaraz Ahmed pulled out of the franchise-based T-20 tournament on Wednesday due to issues including player payments and contracts. He was to be associated with Galle Gladiators.
The LPL is scheduled to commence from November 26 with a clash between Colombo Kings and Kandy Tuskers in Hambantota. As of now, the tournament consists of five-franchise -- Colombo Kings, Dambulla Viiking, Galle Gladiators, Jaffna Stallions, and Kandy Tuskers.
The 5 teams will play a total of 23 matches to win the top prize. The league was earlier scheduled to be conducted in August but got delayed due to restrictions imposed in the wake of covid-19 pandemic.