Cricket: ‘Sri Lankan league vital for World Twenty20 preps’

Group of Pakistan players to leave for event today.

Our Correspondent August 06, 2012

KARACHI: A group of Pakistan cricketers, including Shahid Afridi, will leave today to participate in the inaugural Sri Lanka Premier League (SLPL) that gets underway from August 10.

As many as 14 national cricketers signed a contract to take part in the league  and received permission from the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB). The players include Shoaib Malik, Abdul Razzaq, Umar Gul, Saeed Ajmal, Sohail Tanvir, Umar Akmal, Misbahul Haq, Imran Nazir, Ahmad Shahzad, Azhar Mehmood, Abdul Rehman, Hammad Azam and Imran Farhat.

Owing to the players’ participation, the team management decided against organising an extensive training camp for the series against Australia which will be followed by the Word Twenty20 to be played in September and October.

Meanwhile, a senior team member said the SLPL will provide the perfect training for the two important assignments.

“We will take on the world’s top cricketers,” the player told The Express Tribune. “The SLPL will give perfect match practice and that will be better than a training camp. In addition, we will play the World Twenty20 games at the same venues where we will play the SLPL matches. This will help us get acclimatised to the conditions early.”

‘SLPL will give Sri Lanka global reach’

Meanwhile, the SLPL will be a golden opportunity to showcase the island nation to the world, according to one of the organisers of the T20 tournament.

Sandeep Bhammer, chief executive of the Somerset Entertainment Ventures group, said the SLPL would be beamed around the globe.

“Sri Lanka has come out of a 30-year civil war and the idea is to showcase the country to the world,” Bhammer told Reuters. “It is the only country among the 10 Test-playing nations that doesn’t have its own version of Twenty20 and it is going to be televised in all the cricketing nations.”

Published in The Express Tribune, August 7th, 2012.

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