Pakistan’s dashing all-rounder Shahid Afridi and former New Zealand skipper Daniel Vettori have been named to lead two provincial sides in Sri Lanka’s Premier League Twenty20 competition (SLPL).
Afridi will lead Nagenahira while left arm spinner Vettori has been chosen to captain Uthuru, representing the North Eastern provinces which were isolated from the sport because of the three-decade old war.
Vettori is captain of the Royal Challengers Bangalore in the IPL tournament which also features Sri Lankan stars Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardena and Tillekeratne Dilshan.
The event organisers, Somerert Entertainment Ventures (SEV) have found a window for the IPL-style tournament between Sri Lanka’s tour of England and Australia’s tour of Sri Lanka, according to the ‘Daily Mirror’.
Six national captains, including four from Sri Lanka - Sanath Jayasuriya, Jayawardena, Sangakkara and Dilshan - will lead seven Provincial teams in the upcoming tournament.
The seventh will be former Sri Lanka vice-captain, Chaminda Vaas. The Sri Lanka T20 Premier League will feature almost 35 international cricketing stars and will be the first of its kind in Sri Lanka.
The 18-day event will kick off on July and will feature 24 matches, including the semifinals and final, at the R. Premadasa Stadium in Colombo.
Dilshan will lead Basnahira, Sangakkara (Kandurata), Jayawardane (Wayamba), Jayasuriya (Ruhuna) and Vaas (Uva).
Five overseas players could be registered to a provincial team but only four will be allowed to play in a match. Sri Lankan national selectors and cricket authorities have agreed to blood as many youngsters and almost 70 Sri Lankan cricketers will be registered in the seven team tournament.
Almost all Pakistani national cricketers will be invited to play in the SLPL.
In addition to that, Chris Gayle and the Bravo cousins (Dwayne and Darren) from West Indies, Pathan brothers (Irfan and Yousuf) from India, Herschelle Gibbs, David Warner and Shaun Tait will be seen in action on Sri Lankan soil.
The availability of retired great Muttiah Muralitharan is not yet confirmed but some unconfirmed sources revealed that he is eager to play in the series.
Milind Rege, the tournament manager of the 2011 cricket World Cup will be in charge of all cricketing matters of the tournament. Rege is a former Ranji Trophy captain for Mumbai and recently retired from TATA corporation as a managing committee member.