Sri Lanka will resume top-level cricket with a new premier league tournament starting next month with the participation of 70 international players, the cricket board said Monday.
Sri Lanka Cricket said the proposed 23-match Lanka Premier League (LPL) involving five teams will start on August 28 and end on September 20. The matches will be played at four international venues on the island.
"Over 70 international players and 10 top notch coaches have already confirmed their availability to take part in this tournament along with leading Sri Lankan national players," the board said in a statement.
The lucrative Indian T20 League is due to start in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) from September 19. The UAE's coronavirus rules require all visitors to self-isolate for two weeks after arriving in the country.
Sri Lanka Cricket did not name any of the foreign stars who it says have agreed to play in the LPL. It also did not say if the Sri Lankan health authorities were making an exception to quarantine rules for visiting players.
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 August 1, but it has since been put off indefinitely amid fears of a second wave of infections.
Sri Lanka has reported over 2,800 infections with at least 11 virus deaths since the first case, a Chinese woman tourist, tested positive on January 27.
The England team abruptly pulled out of their two-match Test series against Sri Lanka on March 13 as the pandemic spread.
Since then, South Africa and Bangladesh have cancelled their scheduled tours of Sri Lanka.
Feature image courtesy: AFP / Ishara S. Kodikara