Lanka Premier League Scrambles to Replace Franchise Ownership

This disruption follows the arrest of co-owner of the Dambulla Thunders, on charges related to Sri Lanka’s Prevention of Offences Related to Sports Act.

The Lanka Premier League (LPL) is facing a last-minute ownership shakeup for the Dambulla franchise, just over five weeks before the tournament kicks off. This disruption follows the arrest of Tamim Rahman, co-owner of the Dambulla Thunders, on charges related to Sri Lanka’s Prevention of Offences Related to Sports Act.

Swift Response and Maintaining the Schedule

Reacting swiftly to the arrest, Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) and the LPL organizers, the IPG group, terminated the Thunders franchise on Wednesday. However, in a move to reassure fans and maintain tournament integrity, the IPG group has declared the tournament will proceed as planned.  The full schedule will be played with all five teams participating.


Securing New Ownership and Player Rosters

The IPG group is currently finalizing the process of “confirming the new ownership” for the Dambulla franchise. These new owners will likely inherit the player roster that the Thunders assembled at the recent player auction.  Fortunately, all other teams have already finalized their player selections as well, ensuring minimal disruption to the draft process.

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A Franchise with a History of Change

This ownership change is not new territory for the Dambulla franchise. Since the LPL’s inaugural season in 2020, the Dambulla team has seen a revolving door of ownership.  Previously, the franchise has operated under the names Dambulla Aura, Dambulla Giants, and Dambulla Viiking. This highlights a potential challenge faced by the LPL in terms of franchise stability.

Challenges and Opportunities for the LPL

The LPL has faced criticism for its struggles to retain franchise owners.  This frequent turnover can create uncertainty for players, sponsors, and fans alike.  The league’s organizers will need to address this issue to ensure long-term stability and growth.

However, this unexpected change also presents an opportunity. The incoming ownership group for the Dambulla franchise has a chance to make a fresh start.  By building a strong brand identity, engaging with the local community, and fostering a positive team culture, they can contribute significantly to LPL’s overall success.

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Looking Ahead: A Smooth Tournament Despite the Setback

While the Dambulla franchise ownership change presents a challenge, the LPL’s organizers appear committed to delivering a successful tournament.  The swift action taken and the focus on maintaining the schedule demonstrate their proactive approach.  The new ownership group for Dambulla, whoever they may be, will have the chance to learn from the past and contribute to a vibrant and thriving LPL.


With all teams finalizing their rosters and a new owner soon to be confirmed for Dambulla, fans can still look forward to an exciting Lanka Premier League season. The coming weeks will be crucial for the LPL as they navigate this unexpected turn of events.