Irfan Pathan in Lankan Premier League player pool

Irfan Pathan might not be seen in the Indian Premier League commentary panel at least for the opening round matches. The former India all-rounder has given consent for inclusion in the Lankan Player League player draft.

If picked, Irfan will have to miss the IPL commentary role for the initial few days. The IPL will be starting in the UAE from September 19. The inaugural Lankan Premier League is slated from August 28 to September 20.

The former India and Baroda all-rounder, who had announced retirement from all forms of cricket in January this year, has been named among the 143 international cricketers in the LPL player pool. New Zealand veteran Martin Guptill, who had failed to find an interest from the IPL franchisees, is another big name in the LPL player pool.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India does not allow the active Indian cricketers to participate in the professional overseas league. But there is no bar for the retired players. This year, Pravin Tambe has been picked by the Caribbean Premier League side Trinbago Knight Riders, while Yuvraj Singh after his retirement has represented Toronto Nationals in the Global T20 Canada.

“There are about 143 overseas players in the list who are very keen to play in this tournament and now it is up to the respective franchises to select these cricketers,” Daily News has reported a Sri Lanka Cricket official as saying.

“We have also asked the local clubs to nominate two players for this event and so there would be a total of 48 top domestic players from the 24 Premier Clubs who would be eligible to represent the four franchises. In addition, we have a total 80 national players who are currently contracted with SLC and they will also be strong contenders to make it to the final squad.

“Some of the Premier Clubs have also named young promising players in the Under-23 and Under-19 category but altogether it is up to the four franchises to make a final decision in picking their squad.”

The Lanka Premier League will be played across R Premadasa Stadium, Dambulla Stadium, Pallekele Stadium and Mahinda Rajapaksa Stadium. Teams representing Colombo, Kandy, Galle, Dambulla and Jaffna will play 23 games are SLC has relaunched its professional league in a new avatar after 12 years. It’s earlier venture – Sri Lanka Premier League – had failed to progress beyond the inaugural season in 2012.

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