KARACHI: Preparations for the 2012 World Twenty20 will kick-start on an individual level from tomorrow with the launch of the Sri Lankan Premier League (SLPL), a tournament that features a number of Pakistan players.
With the format gaining immense popularity, the trend of signing foreign players follows on from the IPL and, for most players, this will not only be a chance to get used to the conditions ahead of the World Twenty20, where England will defend their title, but also make an impression on the selection committees as they bid to have their name included in the final squad — the deadline for which is August 18.
Wahab, Fawad signed
While discarded players Wahab Riaz and Fawad Alam received fresh contracts, the signing of Kamran Akmal, who was also approached by the organisers, could not be confirmed.
As many as 14 Pakistan cricketers including the senior members of the team initially signed a contract for the inaugural competition. The new signings have now increased the number of Pakistan players in the league.
While Riaz had left for Sri Lanka in advance, Alam reached Colombo late on Thursday.
“It will be my first foreign league after the Bangladesh event,” Alam told The Express Tribune. “I am looking forward to a good performance. This event features top cricketers and a good performance here will boost my confidence. My priority is to regain my place in the national team for which I’ve been working very hard.”
The event features seven franchises – Basnahira Cricket Dundee, Kandurata Warriors, Nagenahira Nagas, Ruhuna Royals, Uthura Rudras, Uva Next, Wayamba United – that will take part on a single-league basis, playing a total of six games each.
The top-four will go through to the semi-finals on August 28 and 29 before the final takes place on August 31.
Misbahul Haq, Saeed Ajmal, Sohail Tanvir, Ahmed Shehzad, Imran Nazir, Shahid Afridi, Imran Farhat, Fawad Alam, Umar Gul, Hammad Azam, Abdur Rehman, Shoaib Malik, Abdul Razzaq, Umar Akmal, Wahab Riaz, Azhar Mehmood
Published in The Express Tribune, August 10th, 2012.