Colombo, November 27 (Daily News) – The Lanka Premier League (LPL) T20 Cricket Tournament began at the Mahinda Rajapaksa Stadium in Hambantota yesterday sans any pomp and pageant and all the fanfare due to the current COVID-19 pandemic situation in the country.
The Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports, Namal Rajapaksa, who had played a pivotal role in making the LPL, at last, a reality, declared the 23-match inaugural showpiece event open, under strict Health Ministry guidelines.
The virtual opening ceremony was conducted while using a combination of augmented and virtual reality technologies. This was also the first occasion that a virtual opening ceremony took place during a major cricketing event in the region.
The virtual opening ceremony highlighted the vibrancy of the Sri Lankan culture, heritage, entertainment and most importantly the passion of cricket in Sri Lanka.
In fact, the event was postponed on four occasions from the original date of August 28, due to the pandemic and now it has become a reality is mainly because of the untiring efforts of Sports Minister, Rajapaksa, who was very keen to have the tournament go on. The LPL, of course, was earlier schedule to be held at three different international venues – Hambantota, Pallekele Stadium, and Dambulla Stadium, but the last two venues were dropped due to the pandemic situation.
Meanwhile, the LPL is set to reach out a wide range of global audience in Asia, Middle East, Europe, United States, Australia, New Zealand, Africa, Canada and South America.
Meanwhile, the champion team of the LPL will receive a cash award of US$ 50,000 while the runner-up will receive a cash award of US$ 30,000.