Cricket is back in full swing, so get yourself ready to watch some thrillers and keep yourself packed as we have a number of leagues and International series going to kickstart in the coming days. After the recent conclusion of the Indian Premier League (IPL) and Pakistan Super League (PSL) we now have the Lanka Premier League, which is set to begin on the 26th of this month.
Though the league are having to undergo various obstacles from the stadiums to the unavailability of their players, Sri Lanka Cricket has confirmed the league will go ahead as planned. Five teams will battle it out in 23 matches and the tournament will follow a Round- robin and Knockout format.
Despite many of the key players pulling out owing to various reasons, the league still has a number of players who grab our attention both at the domestic and International level. Cricwizz takes a look at the 5 players to watch out in the upcoming Lanka Premier League.
1) Andre Russell
Andre Russell also known as the Andre ‘Giant’ Russell tops our list and as we know the obvious reason- his sheer hitting ability and always his excellence in all three departments of the game makes him a huge prospect in the Lanka Premier League. The 32- year old will be representing Colombo Kings, which will be led by the Sri Lankan all- rounder Angelo Mathews.
The West Indian had a mediocre season with the Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL, but did do a decent job with the ball. He was seen to be suffering with injury on occasions but the break now would have given him the much needed time to recover.
Russell has played 74 matches in the IPL and managed to score 1517 runs at an incredible strike- rate of 182.33. He has also picked up 61 wickets in the IPL at an economy of 8.96. His strike- rate of 182.33 is the highest in the IPL for batsmen with over 1500 runs.
2) Thisara Perera
The last time Perera was seen in action was in the series against West Indies which was held in the month of February this year. He will be thriving to make to the field and what better occasion than playing in his own backyard. The 31- year old will be leading the Jaffna Stallions, which also include Pakistan star veteran Shoaib Malik. He, like Andre Russell will be a huge impact player in this league as he covers all the departments of the sport.
Perera has played 81 T20I for Sri Lanka and managed to score 1201 runs at a strike- rate of 152.6 and has picked up 51 wickets.
3) Irfan Pathan
Irfan Pathan, a surprise late addition to the league. The former Indian star will make his Lankan Premier debut for the Kandy Tuskers. The 36- year old who faded away from the Indian team because of his declining form and proneness to injury will now be back on the field, the all- rounder will be looking to make full use of this opportunity. Pathan last played for Team India in 2012 and he was last seen playing in the IPL during the 2017 season, where he was representing the Gujarat Lions.
The left- hander has played 103 matches in the IPL and managed to score 1139 runs at a strike-rate of 120 and picked up 80 wickets at an economy of 7.78.
4) Niroshan Dickwella
Another Sri Lankan talent makes it to the list, this time it is the Wicket- keeper Batsman Niroshan Dickwella. The Left- handed opener is no stranger to this format and does have a huge reputation as a hard- hitter. Ever since his debut for Sri Lanka, he has been the go to WK-batsman in the longest format for the game. The 27- year old will be representing Dambulla Viiking, which will be led by all- rounder Dasun Shanka.
Dickwella has played 23 T20I for the Sri Lankan team and has 429 runs to his name at a strike- rate of 138.83.
5) Mohammad Amir
The Pakistani Spearhead has been making his name heard throughout the circuit. The 28- year old had a decent season picking up 10 wickets from the 11 matches he played for the Karachi Kings in the recently concluded PSL. Amir is someone who can generate enormous pace and also has the precision which makes him very difficult to face at times. Given the league consists of a high number of inexperienced players, the Pakistani could cause a lot of discomfort to them with his pace.
Mohammad Amir has played 50 T20I and managed to pick up 59 wickets at an economy of 7. He is set to represent Galle Gladiators, which will be led by his fellow Countryman Shahid Afridi.
Cover Credits: theCricketer