A total of 93 international cricketers, including England's World Cup-winning pacer Liam Plunkett and New Zealand seamer Tim Southee, have been listed for the inaugural edition of the Lanka Premier League (LPL) beginning on August 28. Veteran Pakistan all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez and West Indies opener Dwayne Smith are also part of the list, according to a report in 'Ceylon Today'.
The report also said that Dubai-based sports broadcasting company, Innovative Production Group (IPG), has been awarded "total rights" of the LPL for five years. "IPG has total rights over ground, production, franchises and TV rights of the tournament where they pay USD 2 million annually for the said rights," the report said.
"...it's now up to IPG and franchises to finalise their players via negotiations with the players, or any other suitable method, and SLC will not be further involved in the matter."
The report also stated that "a total of 30 international cricketers (six each per franchise) and five coaches will be selected for the league". In addition, a pool of 130 local players will be available to the franchises to select from.
"A Sri Lankan icon player would get a salary cap of USD 60,000, while a top cricketer would be in the range of USD 50,000 to 40,000. Others would fit into the USD 40,000 to 30,000 and USD 20,000 to 10,000 ranges, depending on their stature.
"International players are expected to be in the USD 10,000 to 60,000 range."
The T20 league will see 23 matches being played on the four international venues of R Premadasa International Cricket Stadium, Rangiri Dambulu International Cricket Stadium, Pallekele International Cricket Stadium and Suriyawewa Mahinda Rajapakse International Cricket Stadium.
Five teams have been named after the cities of Colombo, Kandy, Galle, Dambulla and Jaffna. The tournament ends on September 20.