For the first time in the tournament's history, Lanka Premier League (LPL) will have a player auction for the upcoming fourth edition. Lanka Premier League will be the only third men's T20 franchise tournament after Indian Premier League (IPL) and SA20 to conduct a player auction. Since the opening of player registration last week, franchises have already signed big stars Babar Azam, David Miller, Shakib Al Hasan, and Wanindu Hasaranga.
Five franchises will compete in the fourth edition of the tournament which will be played between July 30 to August 20. Five franchises are allowed to spend $500,000 in the auction which will be held on June 11. Organizers have confirmed that over 500 players have registered for the auction. This will be the first time LPL will be played in an intended July-August window.
Teams will have an extra $500,000 to sign players prior to the auction, a sharp increase from last season's $350,000 cap. Teams have already snapped up some of the biggest stars in international cricket, including Pakistani skipper Babar Azam. Teams will have a three-year contract with players and will have the option to retain or release them on mutual consent at the end of each season.
Each franchise will have a squad of 20-24 players, including 6 overseas players. The auction will replicate an IPL-style process with players being divided into capped and uncapped categories.
Colombo Strikers have signed Babar Azam as their iconic player and young pacer Matheesha Pathirana as a domestic icon. Pakistani pacer Naseem Shah and Sri Lankan all-rounder Chamika Karunaratne have also joined the Strikers. The reigning champions Jaffna Kings have snapped up South African veteran David Miller and Afghan wicketkeeper batter Rahmanullah Gurbaz while Galle Gladiators have signed the world no.1 T20I all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan as their icon. Matthew Wade and Lungi Ngidi have joined Dambulla Aura while Kandy Falcons have managed to sign Mujeeb Ur Rahman and Fakhar Zaman so far.