Hambantota: The first edition of the T20 franchise cricket tournament, the Lanka Premier League, began on Thursday.
Five teams named after Sri Lankan cities are taking part in the team, namely, Colombo Kings, Gail Gladiators, Candy Tuskers, Dambulla Vikings and Jaffna Stallions.
In the opening game of the tournament, the Colombo Kings competed against Candy Tasker.
All 23 matches of the 20-day event will be played at the Mahinda Rajapaksa International Cricket Stadium, Hambantota.
Initially, matches were to be played in three cities, including Kandy and Dambulla, but due to severe restrictions, health officials in the country restricted the event to one city.
The tournament consists of two stages. Round robin and knockout.
In the first round, five opposing teams will play 20 matches. The top four teams will then advance to the semi-finals, and the winners of the knockout games will meet in the final on December 16.
Many big names like Chris Gayle, Faf du Plessis, Lasith Malinga and Ravi Bopara have been ruled out of the tournament for various reasons.
However, the tournament is still starred like Shahid Afridi, Dale Steyn, Irfan Pathan, Andre Russell, Angelo Mathews, Mohammad Amir and Brendon Taylor and many others.
The participating squads are as follows.
Shahid Afridi, Hazratullah Zazi, Mohammad Amir, Danushka Ganatelica, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Akila Dananjaya, Milanda Srivardina, Azam Khan, Lakshan Sandakan, Sheehan Jayasuriya, Asitha Fernando, Naveen Somara, Mohammad Shiraz, Dhananjaya Lakshanri, Channada, Chanaka Chadwick Walton, Ishan Ali, Abdul Nasir, Waqas Maqsood
Angelo Mathews, Andre Russell, Manpreet Singh Goni, Asuro Adana, Dinesh Chandimal, Amila Aponso, Ashan Priyanjia, Ravinderpal Singh, Desmantha Chamira, Jeffrey Wandersey, Thekshila De Silva, Ph.D. Node Paranavithana, Qais Ahmed, Daniel Bell Drummond, Lori Evans, Karim Khan Sadiq, Damika Prasad
Kosal Janet Pereira, Brendan Taylor, Kosal Mendes, Naviwan Pradeep, Sekkio Prasana, Asila Gunirathne, Naveenul Haq, Kamindo Mendis, Dilruwan Perera, Premal Perera, Kamando Mendis, Dilruwan Perera, Premal Perera, Lavish Anjulia, Nishish Fernando, Chamika Aderisanghi, Ishan Jayarne, Irfan Pathan, Rehmanullah Garbaz, Sohail Tanveer, Munaf Patel, Dale Steyn, Kevin Cotigoda, Vishwa Fernando
Thiara Pereira, Johnson Charles, Venido Hasaranga, Shoaib Malik, Usman Shinwari, Eshka Fernando, Dananjaya de Silva, Suranga Lakmal, Bonora Fernando, Manod Bhanuka, Chaturanga de Silva, Mahesh Thikshana, Charth Aslanka, Nondinak Fernando, , Kelly Abbott, Donne Olivier, Tom Morris, Prabhat Jayasuriya, Sebastian Plio Vijayraj
Dasan Shanaka, Samat Patel, Samiullah Shinwari, Anwar Ali, Narushan Dick Vela, Lahiru Kumara, Oshada Fernando, Kasun Rajitha, Paul Sterling, Lahiru Madushinka, Apple Tharanga, Angelo Pereira, Ramesh Mendis, Palina Tharanga, Dilshan, Ashin Bandar , Sachindu Columbus, Sandeep Tyagi, Milanda Pushpakmar, Aftab Alam