HomeCricketNewsLPL terminates Dambulla Thunders contract following owner's arrest

LPL terminates Dambulla Thunders contract following owner’s arrest

The rights holders of the Lanka Premier League (LPL) – Sri Lanka Cricket and IPG have terminated the contract of Dambulla Thunders after Colombo Police arrested its owner over allegations of match-fixing.

The Dambulla franchise is one of two new teams with new owners apart from Galle Marvels. Notably, the announcement came right after the LPL 2024 Auction which the organisers claimed to be a huge success.

The termination of the new team implementers after it was revealed that a franchise official Tamim Rahman, a Bangladeshi national, who is the CEO of the Imperial Sports Group that manages the Thunders, was arrested by Colombo Police over allegations of match-fixing.

He was arrested under the 2019 Prevention of Offences Relating to Sports Act, which relates to corruption.

“The LPL will go ahead as scheduled, we will run the side if we can’t find an owner in time for the LPL. In the past, we managed two sides and we are ready to take a financial hit,” an LPL official told a sports website.

There are five teams in the league. Apart from the Thunders, B-Love Kandy, Colombo Strikers, Galle Marvels, and Jaffna Kings are the other four teams.

Renowned international players including Mustafizur Rahman, Dilshan Madushanka, Nuwan Thushara, Akila Dananjaya, Danushka Gunathilaka, Nuwan Pradeep, Ibrahim Zadran, Hazratullah Zazai, Karim Janat and Iftikhar Ahmed are a part of the Thunders squad while Kusal Mendis named as the captain of the team.

“We are committed to the highest standards of transparency and professionalism and will continue to support all our teams, players and fans during this transition.” LPL rights holder IPG Group chairman Anil Mohan said.

For now, Dambulla Thunders is without an owner. However, the team will now have to look for a new owner as what happens to the franchise is yet unclear.

“While the specifics of the charges against Mr. Rahman remain unclear, the integrity and smooth running of the Lanka Premier League are of utmost importance,” an LPL statement said.

“This termination/retraction of rights aims to uphold the values and reputation of the LPL, ensuring that all participants adhere to the highest standards of conduct and sportsmanship. The LPL management is working diligently to address the consequences of this termination/ retraction of rights and to ensure minimal disruption to the upcoming season.”

Sri Lanka became the first South Asian nation to criminalise several offences related to match-fixing after its parliament passed all three readings of the Prevention of Offences Related to Sports bill in November 2019.

The 2024 edition of the Lanka Premier League will be played between July 1 and 21. The season opener will be played between defending champions B-Love Kandy and Dambulla Thunders at Pallekele International Cricket Stadium, Pallekele.

ALSO CHECK: Pathirana, Theekshana named in Sri Lanka T20 World Cup 2024 Squad

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