• 15 June 2023
  • Ana Gems
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It was a watershed moment in Sri Lankan cricket history. The much-anticipated Lanka Premier League auction, the first of its kind, unfolded amidst palpable excitement in the city of Colombo. A host of Sri Lankan cricketers, both seasoned and green, fetched impressive sums as the bidding war commenced.

Charith Asalanka: An Unprecedented Buy

One of the highlights of the auction was the purchase of middle-order batsman, Charith Asalanka, who fetched a staggering sum of US$80,000. Initially listed at US$30,000, a bidding battle ensued among the teams, with the Colombo Strikers, Jaffna Kings, and Dambulla Aura vying for the former Under-19 Sri Lanka captain’s services. Ultimately, Jaffna Kings emerged victorious, securing Asalanka’s cricketing prowess for the upcoming season.

Shevon Daniel and Binura Fernando: Rising Stars in the Making

Shevon Daniel, a promising young talent, started at a base price of US$5,000. His value saw a significant rise as Galle and Colombo engaged in a bidding war, culminating in Galle securing his services for US$22,000.

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Binura Fernando’s base price of US$30,000 more than doubled by the end of the auction, with Dambulla Aura procuring the left-arm seamer for a solid sum of US$76,000.

Sadeera Samarawickrama and Ashen Bandara: Big Earners of the Day

Among the top earners was Sadeera Samarawickrama. The wicketkeeper-batsman began with a price tag of US$20,000 and saw a staggering increase of over 350% as Dambulla Aura took him under their wing for US$68,000.

Leg-spinner Ashen Bandara was another notable buy. He was sold to Kandy for a sum of US$40,000, marking a significant day for the young player.

Dushmantha Chameera and Dinesh Chandimal: Established Players Fetching Impressive Sums

Dushmantha Chameera, despite starting at a solid US$50,000, ended the auction with a slightly disappointing US$70,000. The quick’s price tag was expected to rise even higher, but it remained relatively stagnant.

Kandy, on the other hand, secured the services of Dinesh Chandimal for a satisfying sum of US$72,000, after starting at a base price of US$40,000.

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Pathum Nissanka and Dunith Wellalage: Notable Purchases

Opening batsman Pathum Nissanka was another significant buy. Colombo paid a sum of US$40,000 for his services, providing a considerable boost to their lineup.

Dunith Wellalage, despite his absence from the World Cup Qualifiers, attracted interest from three franchises. Starting at a base price of US$30,000, he was eventually sold to Jaffna for US$56,000.

Dhananjaya de Silva: A Valuable Asset

Dhananjaya de Silva, known for his ability to finish off an innings and bowl off-spin, started at a base price of US$40,000. He was eventually bought by Dambulla for US$76,000, testifying to his value as a white ball cricketer.

Looking Forward: Big-Name Foreign Players Up for Grabs

The auction is set to become even more intriguing when the big-name foreign players come into play. Despite a couple of seasons of the Lanka Premier League, this is the first time an auction has been conducted, adding an extra layer of anticipation to the event.

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Among the attendees was former Pakistan great, Wasim Akram, who was bidding on behalf of the Kandy franchise, signaling a new era for the team under new ownership.

In conclusion, the inaugural Lanka Premier League auction marked a significant day in Sri Lanka’s cricket history. From young talents like Shevon Daniel and Binura Fernando to established players like Dinesh Chandimal and Dushmantha Chameera, the auction was a testament to the wealth of talent in Sri Lankan cricket. As we look forward to the upcoming season, the excitement and anticipation continue to build, promising a thrilling cricketing spectacle in the days ahead.

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