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Sri Lanka Premier League

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Sri Lanka Premier League
Countries Sri Lanka
AdministratorSri Lanka Cricket
First edition2012
Tournament formatRound-robin and knockout
Number of teams7
Current championUva Next
Most successfulUva Next (1 title)
QualificationChampions League Twenty20
Most runsDilshan Munaweera (212)
Most wicketsJacob Oram (15)
TVCarlton Sports Network
STAR Cricket

The Sri Lanka Premier League (SLPL) was a Twenty20 cricket competition in Sri Lanka. It was intended to be the premier Twenty20 league in the country, held by Sri Lanka Cricket, when it replaced the Inter-Provincial Twenty20 competition.

After the 2011 season was postponed, its first season was held in 2012. The 2013 and 2014 seasons were cancelled due to organizational problems and lack of sponsorship.[1] The 2014 Super 4's T20 replaced the tournament.

A new competition called Lanka Premier League was later created and ran its first season in 2020.



Postponed 2011 tournament


In May 2011, Sri Lanka Cricket announced a new franchise-based Twenty20 tournament in the country, modelled on the Indian Premier League. The SLC signed a deal with Somerset Entertainment Ventures to organise the tournament. Seven teams were allocated, each representing a province.[2][3] Somerset Entertainment Ventures have been given the rights to run the event for 15 years.[4]

The first tournament was to be held at R. Premadasa Stadium in Colombo between 19 July and 4 August. However, the Board of Control for Cricket in India refused to let the 12 Indian players selected in the tournament participate.[5] Furthermore, allegations of corruption and incompetence by SLC and its handing over of the organisation to a previously unheard of Singapore-based Somerset Entertainment Ventures put the tournament in serious jeopardy.[6] The tournament was postponed to 2012, with the former Inter-Provincial Twenty20 taking its place.[7] Sandiip Bhammer of SEV blamed the Indian players' withdrawal for causing sponsors to withdraw from the competition.[8]

2012 tournament


In February 2012, SLC signed a renewed deal with Somerset Entertainment Ventures to hold the tournament in August 2012 at Colombo and Kandy, with the seven teams as originally planned.[9][10] The BCCI said that Indian players in the SLPL was a possibility.[11] The SLPL's partnership with the MCC Spirit of Cricket initiative was similar to the MCCDLF partnership in the 2008 IPL.[12]

In June 2012, the seven provincial teams were changed to seven franchises, owned by private backers like the IPL and BPL.[13]

The SLPL was officially launched on 16 July 2012 at Cinnamon Grand Colombo in Colombo. SLC Chairman Upali Dharmadasa announced plans to add two more franchises in the following years in other regions. Like the IPL, the SLPL would have cheerleaders and other entertainment, with the official website, mascot, theme song and logo of the SLPL also launched on 16 July.[14]

The 2012 SLPL season was played in Colombo and Kandy from 11 to 31 August 2012. Out of the 24 matches scheduled, 23 took place and one was rained off. Every team played each other in a round-robin system. The top four ranking sides progressed to the knockout stage of semi-finals followed by a final at R. Premadasa Stadium, Colombo. Uva Next beat Nagenahira Nagas to become champions.[15]



The second season was set to begin in 2013 but was cancelled after the franchises breached payment deadlines.[16]

The 2014 season was also cancelled, with the announcement in February 2014, citing lack of meaningful sponsorship for the league.[1]

League organisation




Aside from Nagenahira and Uthura, each of the seven proposed provincial teams had a team playing in the previous Inter-Provincial Twenty20.[17] North Central and Sabaragamuwa Provinces did not have teams for the first season, planning to be added in future seasons.[18]

In 2012 SLC adopted a franchise system, with the teams coming under private ownership instead of the SLC board. At auction, the seven SLPL teams fetched an average of US$4.3 million, building on a reserve of $3 million each.[19] The franchises were derived from the province-based teams.

SLC chairman Upali Dharmadasa announced in July 2012 the SLPL planned to expand with the addition of two more teams in 2013, with all nine Sri Lankan provinces represented in the league.[20] The 2013 season was cancelled.

Team Province Owner(s)[21] Price[21] Captain Head coach Icon Player[13]
Basnahira Cricket Dundee Western Indian Cricket Dundee Limited $4.33 million Sri Lanka Tillakaratne Dilshan Sri Lanka Duleep Mendis Sri Lanka Tillakaratne Dilshan
Kandurata Warriors Central Number One Sports Consulting Private Limited $4.98 million Sri Lanka Sanath Jayasuriya Sri Lanka Romesh Kaluwitharna Sri Lanka Kumar Sangakkara
Nagenahira Nagas Eastern Varun Beverages Lanka Private Limited $3.22 million Sri Lanka Angelo Mathews Australia Shane Duff Sri Lanka Angelo Mathews
Ruhuna Royals Southern Pearl Overseas Limited $4.6 million Pakistan Shahid Afridi Pakistan Waqar Younis Pakistan Shahid Afridi
Uthura Rudras Northern Rudra Sports Private Limited $3.4 million Sri Lanka Jehan Mubarak Australia Tom Moody Sri Lanka Muttiah Muralitharan
Uva Next Uva Success Sports Private Limited $4.6 million Sri Lanka Thilina Kandamby Sri Lanka Naveed Nawaz Cricket West Indies Chris Gayle
Wayamba United North Western Wadhawan Holdings Private Limited $5.02 million Sri Lanka Mahela Jayawardene Australia Trevor Bayliss Sri Lanka Mahela Jayawardene

Draft and squads


Under the original 2011 system, SLC would have assigned 16-18 players to each team, with five foreign players per team, and a Sri Lankan captain. But after the 2012 franchise system was adopted, a draft was organized and a lottery held to determine the order in which players were picked. SLC determined the value of the contract for each player in advance. The players were seen as likely to be drafted in two groups – Sri Lankan players and foreign players.[13]

Each franchise had an "icon player" and a maximum of 18 players including three under 21 players. Up to two teams in the league could nominate foreign "icon" players, and each team could field up to four foreign players per game. Out of the remaining players in the XI, one must be a Sri Lanka Under-21 international. Each squad had a minimum of seven Sri Lankan players. The 2011 captains were Sanath Jayasuriya (Ruhuna), Mahela Jayawardene (Wayamba), Kumar Sangakkara (Kandurata) and Tillakaratne Dilshan (Basnahira); for Nagenahira and Uthura, Pakistan former captain Shahid Afridi and New Zealand former skipper Daniel Vettori.[22]

Almost all Pakistani national cricketers were invited to play in the SLPL. Salaries were lower than the IPL, with the highest at $30,000, with Shahid Afridi getting $35,000 in 2011.[23] But in 2012 the highest salaries were $100,000 for Chris Gayle and $50,000 for Shahid Afridi.

Results and team performances

Year Final venue Man of the tournament Final
Winners Result Runners-up
R. Premadasa Stadium, Colombo Event cancelled and replaced with 2011 Inter-Provincial Twenty20.
R. Premadasa Stadium, Colombo Shaminda Eranga Uva Next
63 for 1 (5.1 overs)
won by 19 runs (D/L)
Nagenahira Nagas
134 for 4 (15 overs)
2013 Event cancelled and replaced with Sri Lanka Cricket Super 4's Twenty20 Tournament 2013

Team performances:

Team 2012
Uva Next W
Basnahira Cricket Dundee GS
Kandurata Warriors SF
Ruhuna Royals GS
Nagenahira Nagas R
Uthura Rudras GS
Wayamba United SF



Marketing of the Sri Lanka Premier League was conducted by the Somerset Entertainment Ventures who marketed the tournament with ambassadors, papare bands, theme songs, mascots and cheerleaders. The tournament will also have an opening ceremony.[24] The Premier League was predicted to generate almost 580 million Sri Lankan rupees of annual income for the Sri Lankan economy. Sandeep Bhammer of Somerset Entertainment Ventures said 130 million rupees would come from hotel accommodation.[4]

The SLPL sponsors and partners included Wisden India, Marylebone Cricket Club on the Spirit of Cricket initiative, and YouTube. Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. was the title sponsor for SLPL.[25]

Sri Lanka Premier League unveiled a new changed logo at the relaunch of the 2012 tournament.

The SLPL mascot was Silva the lion, who was unveiled by the brand ambassadors, the Sri Lankan musicians duo Bathiya and Santhush. Bathiya and Santhush also composed the official tournament song.[26]



Carlton Sports Network broadcast all matches live in Sri Lanka. SLPL's international broadcast partners were Asian Television Network in Canada, ESPN3 in the United States, United Kingdom and the Caribbean, and ESPN and STAR Sports in Sri Lanka, India, Bangladesh and Geosuper in Pakistan, as well as other countries in South and South East Asia. SLC president Upali Dharmadasa confirmed on 2 August 2012 that all SLPL matches will also be broadcast to a global audience via the SLPL's official YouTube channel, in the hope of benefiting the tournament through reaching more cricket fans around the world.[26][27][28]

Country Broadcaster(s) Ref
 Bangladesh Cable/satellite (pay): Gazi Television [29]
 Bhutan Cable/satellite (pay): STAR Cricket [29]
 Cambodia Cable/satellite (pay): STAR Cricket [30]
 Canada Asian Television Network [26]
 Caribbean ESPN3 [26]
 Hong Kong Cable/satellite (pay): STAR Cricket [29]
 India Cable/satellite (pay): STAR Cricket [31]
 Indonesia Cable/satellite (pay): STAR Cricket [30]
 Korea Cable/satellite (pay): STAR Cricket [30]
 Macau Cable/satellite (pay): STAR Cricket [30]
 Malaysia Cable/satellite (pay): STAR Cricket [30]
 Maldives Cable/satellite (pay): STAR Cricket [29]
   Nepal Cable/satellite (pay): STAR Cricket [29]
 Pakistan Cable/satellite (pay): GEO Super [29]
 Papua New Guinea Cable/satellite (pay): STAR Cricket [30]
 Philippines Cable/satellite (pay): STAR Cricket [30]
 Saudi Arabia Satellite/Dish (Free): Gazi Television [30]
 Singapore Cable/satellite (pay): STAR Cricket [29]
 Sri Lanka Terrestrial: Carlton Sports Network
Cable/satellite (pay): STAR Cricket
 Thailand Cable/satellite (pay): STAR Cricket [30]
 United Kingdom ESPN3 [26]
 United States ESPN3 [26]
Worldwide online broadcast Internet (free): YouTube (with 10-minute delay) [29]

See also



  1. ^ a b Fernando, Andrew Fidel (27 February 2014). "SLPL scrapped once again". ESPNcricinfo. Retrieved 23 May 2014.
  2. ^ Now, Sri Lanka to start IPL-style meet Archived 17 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine Hindustan Times. Retrieved 24 May 2012
  3. ^ SLPL to kick off in July? Lankan Newspapers. Retrieved 24 May 2012
  4. ^ a b Jimenez, Tony (3 August 2012). "Cricket-New T20 league to give Sri Lanka global reach". Reuters. Retrieved 3 August 2012.
  5. ^ No Indians in SLPL, says BCCI Cricinfo. Retrieved 24 May 2012
  6. ^ Corruption and incompetence brings Sri Lanka's SLPL T20 tournament to its knees Island Cricket. Retrieved 24 May 2012
  7. ^ Sri Lanka Premier League postponed to 2012 Cricinfo. Retrieved 24 May 2012
  8. ^ "High-quality cricket is focus of SLPL". Wisden India. 3 August 2012.
  9. ^ Sri Lanka Premier League set for August this year Cricinfo. Retrieved 24 May 2012
  10. ^ SLPL to be played in Colombo, Pallekele Cricinfo. Retrieved 24 May 2012
  11. ^ Indian players in SLPL a possibility – BCCI Cricinfo. Retrieved 24 May 2012
  12. ^ "Sanga launches SLPL in MCC Spirit". Lord's. Retrieved 3 August 2012.
  13. ^ a b c Sri Lanka Premier League adopts franchise model Cricinfo. Retrieved 13 May 2012
  14. ^ Mannakkara, Dilanka. "SLPL to promote young talent". Daily News. Lakehouse Newspapers. Retrieved 3 August 2012.
  15. ^ "Sri Lanka Premier League to start on August 10" Wisden India. Retrieved 10 May 2012
  16. ^ Fernando, Andrew Fidel (17 July 2013). "Sri Lanka Premier League 2013 called off". ESPNcricinfo. Retrieved 24 July 2013.
  17. ^ Patranobis, Sutirtho (12 May 2011). "Now, Sri Lanka to start IPL-style meet". Hindustan Times. Archived from the original on 17 July 2011. Retrieved 8 July 2011.
  18. ^ "SLPL to add two more provinces later". ESPNcricinfo. Retrieved 24 June 2011.
  19. ^ "SLPL attracts $30 million for 7 teams". Wisden India. Retrieved 26 June 2012.
  20. ^ "SLPL will get two more teams from next year – Upali Dharmadasa". News 360. Retrieved 29 March 2013.
  21. ^ a b "Indian companies among SLPL-franchise owners". ESPNcricinfo. 28 June 2012. Retrieved 29 June 2012.
  22. ^ Engineer, Tariq. "Sri Lanka Premier League adopts franchise model". ESPNcricinfo. Retrieved 8 July 2012.
  23. ^ "Top players approached for Sri Lankan T20 league". ESPNcricinfo. Retrieved 8 July 2012.
  24. ^ Pinnawala, Chathura. "Sri Lanka Premier League – At what cost?". The Island. Retrieved 3 August 2012.
  25. ^ "Mahindra & Mahindra gets SLPL title sponsorship". The Hindu. 9 August 2012. Retrieved 10 August 2012.
  26. ^ a b c d e f "TV deals, mascot: Sri Lankan Premier League set to take off". NDTV. Retrieved 3 August 2012.
  27. ^ "Sri Lanka Premier League T20 tournament to be broadcast on YouTube | Sri Lanka | Cricket". islandcricket.lk. Archived from the original on 11 October 2013.
  28. ^ Fernando, Andrew. "SLPL to be broadcast globally on Youtube". Sri Lanka Premier League 2012. ESPNcricinfo. Retrieved 3 August 2012.
  29. ^ a b c d e f g h i Fernando, Andrew (2 August 2012). "SLPL to be broadcast globally on Youtube". ESPNcricinfo. Retrieved 2 August 2012.
  30. ^ a b c d e f g h i Nag, Ashoke. "ESPN STAR Sports inks multi-year deal for Sri Lanka Premier League". The Economic Times. Retrieved 3 August 2012.
  31. ^ "ESPN Star Sports to telecast SLPL in India". The Times of India. 23 July 2012. Archived from the original on 26 January 2013. Retrieved 2 August 2012.