Lanka Premier League – Format, Teams and Highest paid Players in the LPL

It’s Sri Lanka’s top T20 cricket tournament and now it’s time to take a closer look at the Lanka Premier League.

Tournament Format

The Lanka Premier League is played on a Double Round Robin format. This means that the five teams involved will play each other twice during an initial group phase.

At the end of that sequence, only the bottom team is eliminated. The top four sides in the group table will then proceed to the playoffs.

The next phase is a little complicated to explain, but it will be recognisable for anyone who follows the IPL or certain other domestic T20 tournaments.

It all starts with:

  • Qualifier One: The top two teams from the group stages play each other. The winner progresses straight to the final.
  • The Eliminator: The third place team plays the fourth place team. The winner progresses to the second qualifier while the loser goes home.
  • Qualifier Two: This is a game between the winner of the Eliminator and the loser of Qualifier One. The winner progresses to the final while the loser goes home.

Eventually, we will have the final which will decide the winner of the Lanka Premier League.

How Many Teams are in the Lanka Premier League?

At present, there are just five teams taking part in the Lanka Premier League. These are:

  • Colombo Stars
  • Dambulla Giants
  • Galle Gladiators
  • Jaffna Kings
  • Kandy Falcons

Winners and Runner Ups

  • 2020 – Jaffna Stallions – Galle Gladiators
  • 2021 – Jaffna Kings – Galle Gladiators

They were renamed in 2021 and Jaffna are, therefore, the only side to have won the Lanka Premier League after the first two editions.

Highest paid Players in the LPL

Imad Wasim

A left arm spinner who is more than useful with a bat in his hand, Imad Wasim has been in demand across global T20 tournaments.

The Pakistani international player will feature for the Galle Gladiators in 2022 and it’s said that his signature cost the team a retainer of $60,000 USD.

Faheem Ashraf

In the 2022 edition of the Lanka Premier League, Pakistan’s Faheem Ashraf will play alongside his international colleague Imad Wasim at the Galle Gladiators. Reports state that the franchise had to pay a retainer of $50,000 to secure his services.

Faheem is an all-rounder who can turn a game with his seam bowling and with some late hitting down the order.

Shoaib Malik

A veteran all rounder who can still play a part in the short forms of the game, Shoaib Malik will be 40 years of age by the time that the 2022 Lanka Premier League is played, but his value with bat and ball is reflected in his substantial fee.

Shoaib will appear for the Jaffna Kings in 2022 and the franchise has had to pay a retainer of $40,000 to add him to their squad.

Lanka Premier League - Format, Teams and Highest paid Players in the LPL
New Zealand cricket team, Shoaib Malik, Dunedin, in 2009

Asif Ali

Another Pakistani player who will grace the Lanka Premier League in 2022, Asif Ali cost his Colombo Stars team a retainer of $50,000 when the squads were most recently assembled.

Asif Ali is purely in the side for his power hitting and he returns an impressive strike rate in excess of 148 in the shortest format. He also has a century in T20 cricket and will clearly be an asset for this Colombo side.

Azam Khan

Compared to some of the other players on this list, Azam Khan was relatively inexpensive at his retainer of $25,000. In 2022, he will represent the Galle Gladiators in the Lanka Premier League.

He is the son of Moin Khan and, like his father, Azam can also keep wicket. It’s still very early days in his career, but Azam Khan is a very useful power hitter down the order and he has a T20 strike rate in excess of 143.

Conclusion

Like all T20 competitions, the Lanka Premier League is great to watch. The shortest form of the game involves power hitting and some exciting finishes at times.

As a nation, Sri Lanka provides some of the best T20 players and that’s evidenced by their victory in the 2022 Asia Cup. As we’ve seen, overseas imports from Pakistan help to bolster the five squads.

The tournament would benefit if more players from outside of Sri Lanka and Pakistan could be involved. The Lanka Premier League now clashes with the Big Bash so it isn’t helped in that respect, but a change to the schedules might make it even more thrilling.