By Srian Obeyesekere
Former Sri Lanka cricket captain Anura Tennekoon welcomed the launch of Sri Lanka Cricket’s (SLC) historic Lanka Premier League as the ideal stepping stone to realizing a long felt need of creating a very strong mainstream national cricket team. “I believe that the staging of the LPL would essentially usher in a new chapter in our cricket.”
Speaking to SLC’s website www.cricket.lk Tennekoon said, “India is the best example of a country organizing an international 20-20 tournament of being able to quickly develop its cricket to optimum level. India has proved through the staging of the Indian Premier League that it is the country that has created the best players in the world in a short period. I believe that similarly Sri Lanka too can follow suit by the staging of the historic Lanka Premier League,” Tennekoon predicted.
The former national captain, regarded as one of world cricket’s technically most equipped batsmen during his time, while further opining that if a country stopped or delayed playing cricket due to the currently prevalent COVID 19 pandemic the standard of cricket was bound to decline, said, “I believe that Sri Lanka by staging international cricket so that spectators could catch the catch the action by live telecast of the LPL given the current health situation in the country, it would be a new fusion to keeping the game alive.”
Tennekoon went on to emphasise on the positive aspect of staging such a mega tournament when he said, “By organising such a tournament as the LPL involving foreign players it would not only be a boon to the national economy, but also be a window towards the commercial gain of our players.”
Identifying this new initiative by Sri Lanka Cricket as the stepping stone to a bright future to cricket in Sri Lanka, Tennekoon further said, “Although there aren’t many world famous players participating, there will be much for our young players to derive from the participating foreign players who are regarded as the world’s most popular players,” he added.