Sri Lanka Cricket’s staging of the second edition of the historic Lanka Premier League (LPL) in a colourful opening ceremony on Sunday under lights at the R. Premadasa Stadium was momentous. Not only was it another stepping stone particularly for the country’s grassroots talent to big time cricket, it was a milestone day for the cricket crazy fans, 50 per cent of whom were let in to view the tournament following a near 2-year long COVID-19 related shutdown. Graced by the Chief Guest, Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports, Namal Rajapaksa, who was inducted to the complex podium by SLC’s President, Shammi Silva, the occasion held out a solemn moment when the youthful minister invited Paralympic gold medalist Dinesh Priyantha to declare open the extravaganza following the welcome speech by SLC’s CEO Ashley de Silva who had a special word of appreciation for the sport’s minister for gracing the event.
With the local and foreign mix of players standing to attention along with Tournament Director and SLC Vice President, Ravin Wickramaratne, who has been the livewire driving the tournament, the showpiece also had the founder CEO of the Indian Premier League, that introduced to the world the now famous concept of cricket’s breathtaking of shortest form of T20 flying action, Anil Mohan as a special guest.
The grand ceremony was an air of pomp and colour to the musical strains of the LPL theme song rendered by BnS/Umaria/ADK/Sajith/Sanka Dineth and Yohani.