Sanga, Kohli, Dhoni and Gayle to lead Lankan Premier League

Former Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara, Indian stars Virat Kohli, M.S. Dhoni and T-20 specialist Chris Gayle have been chosen to lead the four teams in the upcoming Lankan Premier League tournament, Sunday Island learns.

A few eyebrows have been raised that none of the current Sri Lankan players have been chosen to lead Sri Lanka’s franchise based T-20 tournament, which will get underway in September, but the organizers are keen that the best players in shortest format of the game will be available for the two week event.

Accordingly, Sangakkara will lead the Kandy team while Dhoni will captain the Colombo side. Galle will be led by Kohli while Gayle will be the skipper of Dambulla team.

Board of Control for Cricket in India last week had confirmed the participation of Indian players.

SLC has finalized the owners of the franchises and are expected to announce them on Thursday during a media briefing in Colombo. Three franchises will be owned by local companies while one franchise will be owned by an Indian company that has stakes in the oil industry, Sunday Island learns.

The three local franchises will be owned by a supermarket chain, a company in the hospitality trade and a leading company in telecommunications.

Gayle is expected to miss the first few games of the tournament due to the Caribbean Premier League and in his absence Bangladesh skipper Shakib Al Hasan is expected to lead the Dambulla side.

Several international stars will feature in the tournament such as; Kane Williamson, Trent Boult and Tim Southee (New Zealand), Aaron Finch, Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins (Australia), Kieron Pollard, Sunil Narine and Dwayne Bravo (West Indies), Joe Root, Ben Stokes and Johnny Bairstow (England), Sarfraz Ahmed, Shahid Afridi and Mohammad Amir (Pakistan), Rohit Sharma, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Yuzvendra Chahal (India), A.B. de Villiers, Dale Steyn and Kagiso Rabada (South Africa), Mushfiqur Rahim, Mustafizur Rahman and Mahmudullah Riyad (Bangladesh).

Tom Moody (Kandy), Dav Whatmore (Dambulla), John Buchanan (Colombo) and Sanath Jayasuriya (Galle) have been drafted in as coaches of the four franchises.


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