Cricwire got hold of Galle Gladiators co owner Nadeem Omar to speak about their preparations for LPL 2021.
1. How excited are you to be part of the Lanka Premier League?
The Lankan Premier League is fast becoming one of the most followed T20 franchise leagues in the world. We are not only excited to feature in the second season but also proud to be one of the pioneer teams to kick start the league last season. Our performance in the last edition stood out and we are confident of doing an encore this time around too.
2. What made you buy Team Galle and join LPL?
The Lanka Premier League offered us an opportunity to take the existing Gladiator’s philosophy onto an international stage. LPLwas the most natural fit for the ‘Gladiator’ eco-sphere as we work towards building on our cricket communities. Galle is a beautiful coastal city, we are honored to represent the people of Galle as we move into our second season. It’s a great opportunity to work towards the development of the game in Sri Lanka and at the same time it provides a platform to young local players to demonstrate their skills playing alongside the best names in the world. Building on the local sports fraternity to empower communities is the core of what we stand for and look forward to working alongside the LPL team and the SLC to take our vision further.
3. As an investor, how confident are you of the Lanka Premier League?
Our confidence level is high given how Season 1 was swiftly navigated by Sri Lankan Cricket (SLC), The IPG Group, the government of Sri Lanka and the Army. We feel that LPL will pay us healthy dividends as the league grows with every passing season. We saw glimpses of it in the inaugural edition as the highly successful Lanka Premier League (LPL) reached a cumulative audience of 557 million people through TV, digital-social space and traditional media outlets. Sponsors enjoyed a media evaluation (visibility) of $54.5m with Galle Gladiators landing itself a on the impressive mark of ($3.82m). Upon analyzing at the metrics from last season, we understand that these figures make LPL a highly desirable league to be involved with.
4. Did you watch LPL 2020, what do you think of the inaugural tournament?
Season 1 was wonderfully executed given the challenges faced by the organizers during the onset of COVID-19. The high caliber of production quality instantly placed LPL at a high level of professional cricket. A special thanks to Mr. Anil Mohan and Jawad Ghulam Rasool along with their team for facilitating us. I was very impressed with the organization of the event, the facilities provided to the players, the officials and most importantly thee performances of the players which were top notch. LPL was a much-needed tournament for the growth of Sri Lankan cricket and the first edition demonstrated that we are not only at par with other T20 Leagues in the world, but also attracting similar audience to that of Australia’s Big Bash and West Indies’ Caribbean Premier League. I will also add that this is the only T20 cricket league in the world which is supported by the official government. I believe that kind of official supportwill go a long way in making this league one of the best T20’s in the world.
5. How are you planning to build team Galle this year? Any international stars you would like to recruit?
As the owners, we want to build team Galle with the best available international star players with the like of Andre Fletcher, Andre Russell, Shahid Afridi etc. We are also confident that the organizers will register some of the best young talents from participating countries in the draft.