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Lanka Premier League 2022 begins with explosive doubleheader

COLOMBO: The stage is set, and the players are ready for the contest as the curtains come down for the Lanka Premier League (LPL) 2022.

The league is all set to start on the 6th December 2022 in Hambantota with a double explosive header fixture. Defending champions Jaffna Kings and Galle Gladiators are set to lock horns in the inaugural match at 3 pm. Meanwhile, the second match will be played between Colombo Stars and Kandy Falcons at 7:30 pm.

The first round of the tournament, which will consist of 20 games will be played in Hambantota before it moves to Kandy and then Colombo. The final round of games will also be played at the RPICS in Colombo. The final of the League will be played on the 23rd December 2022 at the RPICS, Colombo whilst Qualifier 1 and Eliminator will take place on 21st December. There is no break for the teams and players in the knockout round as Qualifier 2 will be played on 22nd December.

Lanka Premier League 2022, which is Sri Lanka’s topmost domestic tournament, with an international flavour, will consist of 24 games and will see the participation of the topmost domestic and international cricketers. The third edition of the tournament will see the participation of domestic stars like Angelo Mathews, Thisara Perera and Wanindu Hasaranga, who will be joined by several top international players such as Evin Lewis, Carlos Brathwaite, Janneman Malan, Dwaine Pretorius, D’Arcy Short, and Shoaib Malik, among several others.

“The appetite for cricket in Sri Lanka is huge and it shows in the fact that we are being able to organize the third edition of the tournament despite the COVID-19 pandemic last year. This nation has gone through a lot of struggles this year as well, but cricket always brings a smile to their faces and motivates them to fight against all the odds. We are happy that we have been able to play a part in bringing joy to the lives of the people of Sri Lanka.

LPL will be seeing some top domestic players like Angelo Mathews and Thisara Perera, who will play with several international stars such as Carlos Brathwaite, and D’Arcy Short this year. The league will certainly help to unearth some of the best cricketing talents in the country. I am really excited about the tournament,” said Mr. Anil Mohan, Founder and CEO of IPG, the official promoter of LPL.

Jaffna Kings have several star players in their ranks like captain Thisara Perera, Shoaib Malik and James Neesham. Thisara Perera is confident ahead of the first match and wants to clinch the trophy this year as well.

“Whenever you are a part of big competitions, you want to make the final and then of course go on and win the trophy. We have a good and experienced line-up which includes big names like Dhananjaya de Silva, Shoaib Malik and James Neesham. We are looking to keep the winning momentum going from the last year. Galle Gladiators are a good side, but we have everything in our team to register a victory in the first match. We are looking forward to starting the season on a positive note and going all the way, “commented Thisara Perera.

On the other hand, Galle Gladiators reached the final of the tournament in the last two editions and will be looking to change it in the third edition and win the trophy.

Gladiators captain Kusal Mendis said, “We are looking for a positive start to our campaign in the third edition of the tournament and eventually win the trophy. We have a well-balanced squad with experienced players like Kusal Perera, Imad Wasim and Nuwan Pradeep in it. We are hopeful that our players can replicate last year’s performance and clinch the trophy this time.

Jaffna Kings are the defending champions, and we will have to bring our A game on the pitch to register a victory in the first match and start the competition with a positive mindset.

In the second contest of the day, Colombo Stars will take the pitch against Kandy Falcons. Colombo Stars, led by all-rounder Angelo Mathews, will be looking to make a statement in the opening match against the Falcons who are led by leg-spinner Wanindu Hasaranga. Stars, which have quality players with the likes of Ravi Bopara, Dinesh Chandimal, Niroshan Dickwella will be looking to make their mark in the opening match. Dinesh Chandimal was the team’s highest scorer with 277 runs in 9 matches at an average of 46.16.

Stars captain Angelo Mathews stated, “We have depth in our squad and our aim is to go all the way in the tournament. Our team has many star players like Chandimal and Bopara and we will bank on all of them for top performances. Chandimal was our star last year and we will hope he plays well this season and take us to the trophy. We must give everything out there on the field and go into the match with a positive mindset. A good start is important if you want to win the tournament and we have the quality in our team to have a positive start and then bring the trophy home.”

The Falcons will be looking to use the experience of Wanindu Hasaranga to go all the way in the tournament. Their captain is also confident of a good start in the LPL 2022 and said that the team is focusing on one match at a time, but their aim is to win the trophy.

“We are focusing on the opening match first, but our end goal is to win the trophy. We are looking for a positive result which will help us build momentum for matches going forward. Big game players like Fabian Allen and Carlos Braithwaite are present in our squad which gives a lot of confidence in the tournament. Our strategy will be to take one match at a time and not put too much pressure on ourselves. However, we will have our one eye on the trophy as well,” Wanindu Hasaranga concluded.

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