Sri Lanka Premier League forges ahead

- www.ft.lk

The Sri Lanka Premier League (SLPL), aimed at being Sri Lanka’s most prestigious, annually-held, domestic Twenty20 cricket competition and featuring the best and upcoming cricketing talent from Sri Lanka playing alongside national Sri Lankan cricketers as well as some of the world’s biggest Twenty20 cricket stars, has made several new announcements.

An introduction to the SLPL’s global broadcast partners as well as the unveiling of the respective provincial team captains, mascots and jerseys of the seven participating franchises were among the announcements.
The tournament will be broadcasted live in all cricket playing nations which will also be a big boost for Sri Lanka tourism.
ESPN-Star Sports (ESS) has signed on with the Sri Lanka Premier League as its exclusive Broadcast Partner to broadcast the matches in India, and this partnership shall guarantee that the League will get extensive coverage throughout the biggest cricket market in the world.
ESS will broadcast the SLPL in India and Far East, ESPN 3 in UK, US and Caribbean, Canada as well as ESPNplay.com; ATN in Canada, and CSN in Sri Lanka.
In response to queries Somerset Entertainment Ventures (SEV) Chairman Sandiip Bhammer told journalists that CSN was picked because it demonstrated the best commitment and financing capacity to promote the SLPL though the SLRC as well as another station were also approached.
“Selection of CSN wasn’t an arbitrary decision but on the basis of who will provide the best platform that will benefit the tournament as well undertake the commitments of a league in the stature of SLPL,” Bhammer added.
Separately CSN also has an exclusive deal with Sri Lanka Cricket.
With regard to telecasting rights to other territories Bhammer said, “We are firming up contracts with more networks to cover Sub Saharan, Middle East as well as Australia and New Zeland.”
SEV Consultant Karan D. Mehta said tickets and their pricing for SLPL will be out from 5 August onwards at Sri Lanka Cricket Board premises and at the venues – Kettarama and Pallakelle. Mehta said in pricing the tickets the need to draw more people had been considered.
The SLPL will be held from 11 to 31 August with nine matches played over five days in Pallekelle.
Bhammer also announced an esteem team of commentators for SLPL including Jeff Thompson, Dean Jones, Ian Bishop, and Rameez Raja apart from Sri Lanka’s Russell Arnold and Roshan Abeysinghe.
Umpires will be Sri Lankans serving the ICC Panel whilst match referees will be sourced locally as well. The organizers are also planning a spectacular opening of SLPL on August 10 at the Sugathadasa Indoor Stadium.
Sri Lanka Cricket President Upali Dharmadasa said, “With the SLPL becoming a permanent fixture on the international cricket calendar, we believe that it will grow to make Sri Lanka a tourism attraction and also, a value addition for those visiting the Country during this time. Cricket has consistently been the lifeblood of our Country, and it’s time that it is attached to the brand Sri Lanka, in order to further promote the Country as a destination. We believe that the SLPL is just a first step in this long-term process.”

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