Swashbuckling T20 stalwart Chris Gayle has pulled out of the inaugural Lanka Premier League (LPL) 2020 season.
His franchise Kandy Tuskers confirmed the news on Thursday.
Besides Gayle, the likes of Liam Plunkett and Pakistan's Sarfraz Ahmed also pulled out, dealing a huge blow to the tournament even before its take-off.
Here are further details on the same.
"We are sad to announce that Chris Gayle will not be playing for us in this year's @LPLT20," Tuskers tweeted without specifying the reasons for Gayle's decision.
This was followed by another tweet, "We are also sad to announce that Liam Plunkett will also not be playing in this year's @LPLT20."
Gayle and Plunkett were set to join former India all-rounder Irfan Pathan, Munaf Patel, local icon Kusal Perera, Sri Lankan T20 specialists Kusal Mendis and Nuwan Pradeep among others in the team.
However, their decision to pull out has impacted the side.
Both Gayle and Plunkett would have offered a lot of pedigree with their vast experience.
The Kandy franchise, owned by Bollywood actor and producer Sohail Khan, has already acquired Indian players Irfan Pathan, Munaf Patel, Manvinder Bisla, and Manpreet Gony, among others.
As per reports, Munaf and Sohail Tanvir have been roped in as replacements for Wahab Riaz and Liam Plunkett.
Earlier, Gayle's arrival was slightly delayed due to some negotiations between the two parties.
The Lanka Premier League is scheduled to be played from November 26 to December 16 at the Mahinda Rajapaksa International Cricket Stadium (MRICS) in Hambantota.
As many as five teams named after Colombo, Kandy, Galle, Dambulla, and Jaffna, will compete in 23 matches for the title.
Notably, Kandy Tuskers will take on Colombo Kings in the tournament opener.
The latest developments from the LPL come a day after former Pakistan skipper Sarfaraz pulled out from the franchise-based T20 tournament that is facing a host of issues including player payments and contracts. Sarfaraz was to captain the Galle Gladiators franchise.
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