Gayle, Tahir, Hafeez, Powell and du Plessis name as LPL overseas Icon Players
The superstar of global T20 leagues, Chris Gayle is expected to be in action in the second edition of Lanka Premier League as the ‘Universe Boss’ has been picked by the Colombo Stars franchise as the Icon Overseas Player .The Player Draft of the second edition of the Lanka Premier League (LPL) 2021 took place last Tuesday . Apart from Gayle South Africa’s experienced spinner Imran Tahir (Dambulla Giants), Pakistan batter Mohamed Hafeez ( Galle Gladiators) , West Indies Rovman Powell (Kandy Warriors) and former South African skipper Faf du Plessis (Jaffna Kings ) have been named as the Icon Players of the respective teams .
Meanwhile five Icon local players have been named for the respective franchises. They are Thisara Perera (Jaffna Kings),Chairth Asalanka (Kandy Warriors),Isuru Udana (Galle Gladiators) ,Dushmantha Chameera (Colombo Stars) and Dasun Shanaka(Dambulla Giants).
However several senior players including former captains , Angelo Matthews, Dinesh Chandimal and Kusal Janith Perera all three last LPL franchise team captains had not been picked by any team. In addition Dhananjaya de Silva , wicket keepers Minod Bhanuka, Sadeera Samarawickrama and Sadun Weerakkody are the surprise omissions while several promising players Kamil Mishara, Ashen Daniel , Angelo Jayasinghe Chamika Gunasekara , Nuwanidu Fernando and Ayana Siriwardena get chance to enter the teams for the first time in the tournament which will be held from December 5th to 23 at two venues, R. Premadasa Stadium and Mahinda Rajapaksa International Stadium ,Hambantota.
A total of 600 players, consisting of 300 overseas and 300 Sri Lankan players, featured in the ‘Draft,’ which was held virtually with the participation of the five franchise owners and Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) officials.
Following are the squads
Colombo Stars Squad: Chris Gayle (West Indies), Dushmatha Chameera, Ahamed Shehzad (Pakistan)Dilshan Munaweera, Mohamed Irfan (Pakistan), Al Amin Hossain (Bangladesh), Pathum Nissanka, Lakshan Sandakan,Seekuge Prasanna, Manpreet Singh (India),Gihan Rupasinghe, Taskin Ahamed (Bangladesh), Lahiru Gamage, TM Sampath, Nuwanidu Fernando, ehan Daniel,Malindu Maduranga, Nalin Priyadarshana, Hashan Dumindu, Kanagarathnam Kapilraj.
Galle Gladiators Squad: Mohamed Hafeez (Pakistan), Isuru Udana, Bhanuka Rajapaksa,Danushka Gunatilleke, Kusal Mendis, Sarfraaz Ahamed (Pakistan), Mohamed Aamir (Pakistan), Tabraiz Shamsi (South Africa), Dhananjaya Lakshan, Samit Patel (England), Pulina Tharanga, Anwar Ali (Pakistan), Nuwan Thushara, Lahiru Madushanka, Dilshan Madushanka, Ashain Daniel, Kevin Koththigoda, Mohommad Shamaaz, Suminda Lakshan, Angelo Jayasinghe.
Dambulla Giants squad: Imran Tahir (South Africa), Niroshan Dickwella, Chamika Karunaratne, Dasun Shanaka,, Ramesh Mendis, Rilee Rossouw (South Africa), Sohaib Maqsood (Pakistan), Odean Smith (West Indies),Joshua Little (Ireland), Nuwan Pradeep, Najibullah Zadran (Afghanistan), Tharindu Ratnayake, Lahiru Udara,Sacha Senaviratne, Muditha Lakshan, Kalana Perera, Sachitha Jayathilake, Madushan Ravichandrakumar, Janith Liyanage, Chamikara Edirisinghe.
Kandy Warriors squad: Rovman Powell (West Indies), Charith Asalanka, Asela Gunaratne, Lahiru Kumara, Cameron Delport (South Africa), Mohamed Mithun (Bangladesh), Nazmul Islam (Bangladesh), Mehdi Hassan Rana (Bangladesh),Angelo Perera, MilInda Siriwardena, Amjad Khan (Denmark), Ishan Jayaratne,Binura Fernando, Kamindu Mendis, Kamil Mishara, Ayana Siriwardena Nimesh Vimukthi,Udara Jayasundara, Shashika Dilshan, Kalhara Senaratne.
Jaffna Kings squad: Faf Du Plessis (South Africa), Shoaib Malik (Pakistan), Thisara Perera, Wahab Riaz (Pakistan), Avishka Fernando, Maheesh Theekshana, Wanindu Hasaranga, Usman Shinwari (Pakistan), Rahmanulla Gurbaaz (Afghanistan), Chathuranga de Silva,Upul Tharanga, Jayden Seales (West Indies), Suranga Lakmal,Ashen Bandara, Chamika Gunasekara, Vijayakanth Viyaskanth, Theivendiram Dinoshan, Rathnarajah Thenurathan, Ashan Randika, Krishan Sanjula.