After tournament organisers confirmed last week that the Jaffna franchise would have a new owner for the tournament’s second edition, the owners of last year’s LPL winning side – Jaffna Stallions were furious.
With the Stallions’ demise, three of the league’s five clubs will have new owners for the second season of the LPL, following the demise of the Colombo and Dambulla franchises. Allirajah Subaskaran, the founder and chairman of the Lyca Group of firms in the United Kingdom, has taken over as Jaffna’s new owner, and it appears that the squad will no longer be known as the Stallions. After being postponed from August, the league is now set to take place in December.
On Twitter, Rahul Sood, a former Microsoft executive and co-owner of the Stallions, described their demotion as “disgusting.” In a strongly worded statement, IPG called the Stallions’ claims “baseless speculations being propagated with malevolent intent.”
IPG CEO Anil Mohan submitted the Stallions’ KYC application to the ICC’s anti-corruption unit, which was of the opinion that 14 owners was too many. The ICC has neither confirmed this, nor has it publicly criticised the Stallions’ participation in the first LPL, despite the fact that the team appeared to have fewer owners at the time. During the first edition, an ICC official referred to the Stallions as a “model franchise,” according to the Stallions.
The first season of the LPL was widely regarded as a success, with the tournament gaining widespread local support and reportedly attracting a large television audience. The fact that the popular champions of that edition have since been terminated due to a tournament postponement raises doubts about the league’s viability.