The auction, where the five franchises will be allowed to spend a maximum of US$500,000 each, is scheduled for June 14*. The player registration portal was opened last week, and Sri Lanka Cricket confirmed that more than 500 players have already registered. The tournament will run from 30 July to 20 August.
An additional $500,000 was made available to franchises for signings directly ahead of the auction, bringing the total purse available to franchises to $1 million – a sharp increase from $350,000 the previous season.
Direct signings include Babar Azam, Shakib Al Hasan
Here is a list of players who have already been signed by the five franchises using the extra $500,000.
All players signed will be contracted for up to three years, with the franchise having the right to “retain or release players upon mutual consent” at the end of each year. Slots created through the release or unavailability of players will be filled through the annual mini-auction. Franchises will also be allowed to trade in specially designated windows, although exact details have not been released yet.
How will the auction work?
Each team will have a squad of 20-24 players, which will essentially include six foreign players and 14-19 domestic players. As mentioned earlier, each team will have a purse of $500,000 in the auction. Any money not spent from the pre-signing kitty cannot be taken to the auction. Teams will also have a right-to-match option for their players, and the money for this will have to come from the auction fund.
Bidding will be between two teams at any time, with a third team allowed to join the bidding only if one of the first two teams withdraws from the process. An “accelerated” auction process will take place after the first 70 names are submitted for bidding. In this process, franchises will nominate 15-20 players, including unsold players, who will be bid on.
IPL-style player categories, base prices
Players will be classified into two groups – capped and uncapped. Each capped player will be able to register themselves under a base price ranging from $10,000 to $50,000 in $10,000 increments.
Uncapped players will be classified with a base price of $20,000 – those who have played a minimum of 50 first-class matches; $10,000 – Minimum of 25 first-class matches, or minimum of 18 matches in the LPL or any other equivalent T20 franchise league; and $5000 – those that do not meet any of the above criteria.
LPL will be played in its desired window for the first time
But, despite being in its fourth season, the tournament will still feature only five teams. Of the five sides, two – Colombo Strikers and Kandy Falcons – have had a change of ownership this year, with the former changing from Stars to Strikers.
And, unlike last year, this year’s tournament will be held only in Colombo and Kandy, with the Hambantota leg being removed.
Tournament director Samantha Doddonwella attributed the failure to include a sixth team – it had been under discussion since the conclusion of the first LPL – and the short window created by Pakistan’s tour of Sri Lanka, to the removal of the games in Hambantota. Was held responsible. LPL, and CPL, which starts four days before the LPL final.
Dodanwella said that one more team could be added for the next edition of the tournament.
*The article was updated after the LPL auction date was confirmed by SLC.