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Colombo Strikers will look to form strongest side at LPL auction, Pakistan captain Babar Azam says

Pakistan Cricketer Babar Azam

Pakistan Cricketer Babar Azam

Ahead of the Lanka Premier League (LPL) auction, Pakistan’s captain and star batter Babar Azam, who was a pre-auction direct signing by the Colombo Strikers franchise, said that he and his team are looking forward to developing the strongest side in the tournament.

The Strikers have already brought together Azam, highly talented Pakistan speedster Naseem Shah and Sri Lankan T20 stars Matheesha Pathirana and Chamika Karunaratne for the LPL 2023, as per a press release from Colombo Strikers.

“The auction is the most important aspect in any franchise cricket tournament. We have spoken about the kind of players we need and we’ll definitely look to form the strongest side in the tournament,” said Azam as quoted by a press release from Colombo Strikers.

The bowling coach Chaminda Vaas spoke about the team’s strategy for acquiring a good bowling unit, “We have seen over the years that local players make a big difference in franchise cricket. We have shortlisted a few names that we would like to acquire in the Auction. It will be about constructing a well-balanced bowling unit and hopefully, we will be able to do so in the Auction.”

“The auction is always tricky. We have to stay calm and composed. We will set budgets for each player we want to go for and stay within the budget. We will look for superstars, but our main interest will be young local talents,” the team’s assistant coach Jerome Jayaratne was quoted as saying.

The owner of the Colombo Strikers, Sagar Khanna also spoke about the LPL Auction, “In order to get off the mark on a strong note, we have to be on the money in the Auction. We have a good set of coaches and analysts in our team and our franchise is preparing really well for the auction.”

Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) announced in March that the fourth edition of the Lanka Premier League (LPL) will be held from July 31 onwards and will conclude on August 22 this year.

The Lanka Premier League is Sri Lanka’s top-most T20 domestic competition with an international flavour as a lot of international players also take part in this league. Each team in the tournament will consist of 20 players, with 14 Sri Lankans and six overseas players.

The 2022 edition was held back in December 6-23 last year. Jaffna Kings won their second straight title. They have won all three editions of the league, including the 2020 edition as Jaffna Stallions.