LPL 2020: Shahid Afridi misses flight to Sri Lanka, tweets ‘nothing to worry’

Ahead of Sri Lanka’s inaugural T20 league, the Lanka Premier League (LPL), a number of hitches have roped in a lot of heed from the cricketing circle. Following some heavyweight withdraws, the latest news came in as a shock after former Pakistan skipper Shahid Afridi missed his flight to Sri Lanka on Monday.

Afridi who has been named as the captain of Galle Gladiators will miss their opening two fixtures. Afridi took to his Twitter on November 23 to quip, “Missed my flight to Colombo today morning. Nothing to worry, I’ll be reaching soon to take part in the LPL for Galle Gladiators. Look forward to joining my teammates.”

Here’s the Tweet:

The team has updated that he will be unavailable for their first two matches. Besides, Afridi will have to undergo a three-day isolated quarantine. Several further days of quarantine, before he joins the biosecure bubble. In absence of Afridi, Sri Lankan Bhanuka Rajapaksa will lead the Galle Gladiators.

Gladiators were in the headlines earlier post the withdrawals of their heavyweight members Lasith Malinga and Sarfaraz Ahmed. While the Sri Lankan quick quoted lack of preparation, Ahmed pulled out post his inclusion in the Pakistan squad for New Zealand’s tour. Other star players like Chris Gayle, Ravi Bopara, and Liam Plunkett also pulled out of the tournament.

The tournament has also been rocked by a number of positive COVID-19 cases. Besides Pakistan’s pacer Sohail Tanvir and Canada’s batsman Ravinderpal Singh, an Indian, a Pakistan player, and an Indian TV technician who came for the Lanka Premier League (LPL) have tested positive for coronavirus.

The Lanka Premier League will feature five franchisee teams, named after Colombo, Kandy, Galle, Dambulla, and Jaffna. The five teams will compete in 23 matches. Every day will have doubleheaders till the semi-finals on December 13 and 14, 2020. The final will be played on December 16.