Sports

Lanka Premier League: Gayle and Malinga will not be seen, these players also move away

ColomboApart from Chris Gayle and Lasith Malinga, among the most successful players of T20 cricket, England fast bowler Liam Plunkett has pulled out of the first Lanka Premier League (LPL) which has caused a major setback to the tournament before it starts. Gayle and Plunkett’s exit has been confirmed by their franchise Candy Tuskers while Malinga cited not having enough time to prepare. Without revealing the reasons for the West Indies batsman’s withdrawal, the Tuskers tweeted, “We are sad to announce that Chris Gayle will not play in the LPL T20 this year.” In another tweet, the team said, “We are also sad to announce that Liam Plunkett will not play in LPL T20 this year.” Sri Lankan T20 captain Malinga was to captain the Gaul Gladiators team. Malinga said that he has not done any training since March and it would be difficult for him to play in the top level tournament without any practice. Malinga, who recently pulled out of the Indian Premier League in the UAE for personal reasons, said, “I haven’t played any cricket since the series against the West Indies earlier this year and I haven’t done any training.” He said, ‘When the draft took place last month, I thought that there would be three weeks of training time before LPL but nothing happened. We came to Hambantota this week and here too they asked us to stay in Quarantine for three days. ‘ Malinga said, ‘It is not easy for a bowler to play in a top level tournament without training. LPL has matches on consecutive days. So I decided not to play in the tournament. A day earlier, Pakistan’s Sarfaraz also withdrew from the T20 tournament, which is facing a number of problems including players’ payments and contracts. The Tuskers’ team includes former India all-rounder Irfan Pathan, Munaf Patel, local player Kusal Perera as well as Sri Lankan T20 specialists Kusal Mendis and Nuwan Pradeep. England batsman Ravi Bopara has also withdrawn from the tournament. He was to play for the Jaffna Stallions. He has confirmed to the franchise that he will not play. Meanwhile, the Colombo Kings franchise has added former South African batsman Herschelle Gibbs as coach. Gibbs will replace Kabir Ali who has been found to be Kovid-19 positive. Rangana Herath will be the assistant coach of the team. The LPL will begin with a match between Colombo Kings and Candy Tuskers on 26 November in Hambantota. The finals will be played on 16 December

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