For the five squads, the LPL Season 4 will feature an IPL-style auction

The reigning LPL champion is Jaffna Kings

The fourth season of the Lanka Premier League (LPL) will feature a player auction this year, making it the third men’s franchise league and fourth overall (after the IPL, SA20, and WPL). 

Big names like Babar Azam, David Miller, Shakib Al Hasan, and Wanindu Hasaranga are among those who have already signed up.

It has been scheduled for June 11 for the auction, when each of the five franchises will be permitted to spend up to US$ 500,000. After opening the player registration online last week, Sri Lanka Cricket reported that more than 500 players had signed up. From July 30 through August 20, the competition will take place.

The overall purse available for franchises increased to $1 million thanks to an additional $500,000 made available to them for the direct signings before the auction, a significant increase from the $350,000 in earlier seasons.

Here is a list of the players that the five organizations have already committed to using the additional $500,000 to sign.

All signed players will have contracts that last up to three years, with the teams having the option to “retain or release players on mutual consent” at the conclusion of each calendar year. 

An annual mini-auction will be used to fill any openings left over after player releases or unavailability. Although the specifics of this have not yet been made public, franchises will also be permitted to trade in certain windows.

Each side will have a roster of 20–24 players, including a minimum of six foreign players and a maximum of 14–19 homegrown players. Each team will enter the auction with a purse of $500,000, as was already mentioned. The pre-signing kitty cannot be used to carry over funds for the auction. The right-to-match option for players will also be available to the teams, but the funds for it must come from the auction kitty.

A third team may only participate in the bidding once one of the initial two teams has withdrawn from the process. Bidding will always take place between two teams at a given moment. After the first 70 names are put up for bid, there will be an “accelerated” auction procedure. Franchises will submit a list of 15 to 20 players, including unsold players, who will be auctioned off.

Players will be divided into two categories: capped players and uncapped players. Each capped player will have the option to register for base costs ranging from $10,000 to $50,000 in increments of $10,000.

Uncapped players who have played at least 50 first-class matches will be assigned a base price of $20,000; those who have played at least 25 first-class matches, 18 matches in the LPL, or in any other T20 franchise league will be assigned a base price of $10,000; and those who do not meet any of the aforementioned requirements will be assigned a base price of $5000.

The LPL will also be held for the first time in its planned window of July to August; the previous three editions, the first two of which coincided with Covid-19 and the latest of which coincided with Sri Lanka’s economic crisis, were all held in December.

The tournament will still only feature the five clubs mentioned above, even though it is in its fourth season. Colombo Strikers and Kandy Falcons, two of the five teams, have both undergone ownership changes this season; the former has changed from Stars to Strikers.

The Hambantota leg of the tournament has been canceled, and this year’s competition will only be held in Colombo and Kandy.

The absence of a sixth team, which had been discussed since the end of the first LPL, and the removal of games in Hambantota were attributed by the tournament’s director, Samantha Dodanwela, to the CPL’s start five days after the LPL final and Pakistan’s tour of Sri Lanka, which came before the LPL.

“This year, the window was shortened because we will be playing Pakistan – we have to wait until that series is over – and then we have to release players for the Caribbean Premier League which will start on the 25th of August,” he explained.

Dodanwela said that the tournament’s future iteration might see the addition of another team.