Sun, 27 Sep 2020

Sri Lanka's cricket board Tuesday indefinitely postponed the new premier league tournament scheduled for later this month as health authorities insisted on a two-week quarantine for foreign players.

Sri Lanka Cricket had announced last month that it hoped to resume top-level cricket with the Lanka Premier League (LPL) from 28 August with the participation of 70 international players.

"We asked for a three-day quarantine period, but the health authorities insisted on 14 days," a cricket official told AFP. "Under those restrictions, it is not feasible to hold the tournament this month."

The local board proposed 23 matches from 28 August to 20 September. The matches were to be played at four international venues on the island.

The lucrative Indian Premier League (IPL) is due to start in the United Arab Emirates from 19 September.

Sri Lanka Cricket had not named any of the foreign stars who it said had agreed to play in the LPL.

All those entering the island are currently required to quarantine for two weeks at state-managed centres followed by another two weeks of self-quarantine.

The government had announced the reopening of the country's international airports to foreign tourists from 1 August, but it was since indefinitely postponed amid fears of a second wave of infections.

Sri Lanka has reported over 2 875 infections with at least 11 virus deaths, according to official figures.

The England team abruptly pulled out of their two-match Test series against Sri Lanka on 13 March as the pandemic spread.

Since then, South Africa and Bangladesh have cancelled their scheduled tours of Sri Lanka.

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