The inaugural season of the Lanka Premier League is set to take off in Hambantota after a lot of hullabaloo regarding the venue and interest around the league. Planned for as early as 2018, it is now that the Lanka Premier League has generated enough buzz to stage a full-fledged tournament. The five teams have stocked up on some exciting talents from across the globe. We bring to you the most interesting overseas buys from each of these teams.
Kamran Akmal (Dambulla Hawks)
With 496 runs in 19 T20 games in 2020, Pakistan's wicket-keeper batsman Kamran Akmal is a handy player in the shortest format of the game. He boasts of a strike-rate of 147.62 in the format in 2020 and is a terrific option in the powerplay overs where he consistently clears the infield with his inside out shots. Akmal will be a big part of Dambulla's plans this season.
Kyle Abbott (Jaffna Stallions)
Kyle Abbott has been away from the international scenes for a while, but the South Africa pacer has been plying his trade in England rather successfully. A swing bowler who can nail his yorkers in the death, Abbott is handy against the top-order and the tail and is a smart buy from Jaffna Stallions. They also have the likes of Duanne Olivier in their ranks and will hope the two South Africans can form a good pair at the top for them to strike early in a game.
Qais Ahmad (Colombo Kings)
An underrated T20 bowler, Qais Ahmad is a right-arm leg-break bowler capable of keeping big hitters silent with his smart variations. The spinner has had success in the Big Bash League and the Caribbean Premier League, and is a terrific bowler to have in your ranks in this format of the game. Not scared of tossing the ball up or bowling a bouncer to surprise batsmen, Qais can be a handful resource if used right. Colombo will hope to make him their x-factor for the inaugural season.
Mohammad Amir (Galle Gladiators)
Still one of the best top-tail bowlers in T20 cricket, Amir can swing the ball upfront and keep batsmen at bay with his terrific death bowling. In the Pakistan Super League qualifier last week, Amir defended 13 runs in the Super Over, keeping the likes of Rilee Rossouw and Ravi Bopara silent with his impeccable yorkers. It was hailed as one of the best Super Over performances in recent times. Galle will hope to bank on Amir for a good start and to contain big hitters in the death.
Naveen-ul-Haq (Kandy Tuskers)
The Afghanistan pacer is a slow ball master and has a bag of tricks to use against batsmen in this format. Naveen is a tricky customer in T20s as the West Indies came to know in a T20 series against Afghanistan. He later played a pivotal role with the ball in the recent Caribbean Premier League season for the Guyana Amazon Warriors. Naveen is a handful on slow wickets and could be a potential game-changer in the latter half of the tournament when the wickets wear out.
Feature image courtesy: Twitter / @iamamirofficial