Munaf Patel joins Kandy Tuskers in LPL, Malinga unsure
Former India pacer Munaf Patel has been roped in by Kandy Tuskers for the inaugural edition of the Lanka Premier League (LPL) scheduled to begin on November 26. The 37-year-old Patel, who has played 13 Test matches, 70 ODIs and three T20Is, was a part of India’s 2011 World Cup-winning team. He will pair up with former India teammate Irfan Pathan in the tournament.
“Former India fast bowler Munaf Patel has signed a contract to @KandyTuskers,” the LPL wrote on its twitter handle on Tuesday.
Besides this development, there were reports that former Pakistan captain Sarfaraz Ahmed has pulled out of the tournament. Sarfaraz, who was supposed to captain the Galle Gladiators franchise, will no longer take part in the tournament as he has been selected in the national team for the New Zealand Tour.
“Sarfaraz has been selected in the Pakistan squad for the New Zealand tour and hence he is not travelling (to Sri Lanka),” Moin Khan, the Galle franchise coach, was quoted as saying by www.dailymirror.lk. “Now we have to decide the new captain. Will sit with the team owner and the management and decide in a day or two.”
The report also said that Sri Lanka’s T20 skipper Lasith Malinga, who was supposed to spearhead the pace attack of the Gladiators, “is in two minds whether to play the LPL or not.” Malinga, who had opted out of the recently-concluded IPL in the UAE citing personal reasons, has “indicated a desire to pull out”. “He has not been able to train for quite some time and is a little hesitant. We are persuading him to play. He is a celebrity and we don’t want to miss him,” team owner Nadeem Omar said.
The Gladiators will begin their campaign with a clash with Jaffna Stallions on November 27. Apart from the Gladiators, the four other teams have reached Hambantota and entered into a bio-secure bubble. However, there are uncertainty over the participation of Chris Gayle, who was roped in by Kandy Tuskers franchise.
“There is also uncertainty about Chris Gayle’s involvement in the league ... Gayle is still negotiating the terms of his contract with the Tuskers,” a report in ESPNcricinfo said.
The report also said that Jaffna Stallions have roped in former South Africa fast bowlers Kyle Abbott and Duanne Olivier as replacement for Pakistan batsman Asif Ali and England batsman Dawid Malan. Malan has been drafted into England’s forthcoming tour of South Africa and will not be available.
“Stallions had also announced that batsmen Ravi Bopara and Shoaib Malik would be part of their squad, but their involvement is now also uncertain,” the report said.