Galle Gladiators unveiled as Pakistani representative in first-ever Lanka Premier League

Faizan Lakhani

The rumoured Pakistani representative in the inaugural Lanka Premier League (LPL) was officially unveiled on Wednesday as Galle Gladiators - a sister franchise of the Pakistan Super League side Quetta Gladiators.

Nadeem Omar, the Gladiators owner, said that the ownership of a team in LPL "is a good opportunity to bring the cricket fraternity of the two countries closer".

“Sri Lanka has always been a great friend of Pakistan - on the field and off it on other fronts as well. We are looking forward to a good contest during the tournament,” said Omar.

“The team Galle Gladiators will be Pakistan’s ambassador in the tournament,” he highlighted.

Furthermore, Nadeem announced Shahid Afridi as his new franchise's icon player. Moin Khan, who coaches his Quetta franchise, will also be coaching the LPL side.

It remains unclear if Afridi signing up for Galle Gladiators ends his association with the Multan Sultans - the side he last represented in the PSL, which is set to return in November and will have a scheduling clash with the LPL.

While Afridi is in the bag, Omar was unsure if Quetta captain Sarfaraz Ahmed, due to national commitments, would be available for the Lankan league, scheduled for November.

“Sarfaraz Ahmed is PCB’s centrally contracted player and his availability depends on Pakistan team’s commitment. If he’s available, he’ll surely be our first choice,” Omar said.

“We’ll see how the team is formed once we enter the players draft, it is premature to say anything about team combination at this stage."

The LPL is scheduled to kick off in November and be played across three venues in Sri Lanka from November 14 to December 6.

Galle Gladiators to represent Pakistan in first-ever Lanka Premier League