BY MUNYARADZI MADZOKERE
Former Zimbabwe cricket captain Brendan Taylor is set to take part in the inaugural Lanka Premier League (LPL) T20 franchise competition after joining one of the five teams Kandy Tuskers.
Kandy Tuskers are one of the favourites to win LPL 2020, which is scheduled to run from November 26 to December 16, 2020.
Colombo Kings, Dambulla Viiking, Galle Gladiators and Jaffna Stallions complete the list of teams fighting for honours in the LPL.
The 34-year-old wicketkeeper/batsman comes in as a replacement for the legendary Chris Gayle, who decided against joining the side for the T20 competition, as the overseas marquee signing and is also tipped to be named captain.
“All set to be a part of the KandyTuskers @LPLT20_ @ipg_productions @OfficialSLC, can’t wait to arrive in Sri Lanka,” Taylor announced the news on his twitter handle yesterday.
It appears as though Taylor was initially headed for the other LPL side Dambulla Viiking owned by Bollywood actor Sachiin Joshi as a replacement for South African David Miller.
Taylor almost missed out on the country’s recent tour of Pakistan for an ODI and T20i series due to fitness challenges, but his performances in the 50-overs competition seems to be opening doors for him.
And soon after the Pakistan tour, Taylor remained in that country to join Multan Sultans for the Pakistan Super League playoffs.
It was his second appearance in the Pakistani domestic competition following four outings for Lahore Qalandars in 2018-19, during which he hit just 17 runs.
Apart from Gayle, players such as left-arm pacer Pakistani Wahab Riaz and English fast bowler Liam Plunkett were also on the Kandy Tuskers books before cancelling their LPL participation.
The Kandy Tuskers roped in former Indian medium-pacer Munaf Patel and Pakistan’s left-arm medium-fast bowler Sohail Tanvir as replacements.
Other top players in the Kandy Tuskers side include Indians Irfan Pathan and Munaf Patel, while the trio of Tanvir, Naveen-ul-Haq, and Rahmanullah Gurbaz complete the overseas contingent.
The 2020 Lanka Premier League is also known as My11Circle LPL T20, for sponsorship reasons.
Five teams based in various Sri Lankan cities will play a total of 23 matches.
The LPL was originally set to start in August, but was rescheduled several times due to restrictions to curb the Covid-19 pandemic.