Franchise cricket: A blessing or a curse? | Page 3 | Sunday Observer

Franchise cricket: A blessing or a curse?

6 February, 2022
Jaffna Kings (earlier Jaffna Stallions) the dominant team in the LPL
Jaffna Kings (earlier Jaffna Stallions) the dominant team in the LPL

Franchise cricket nowadays has become an important cog in the world cricket calendar. Apart from the international game, these franchise leagues have found an interesting platform where they are able to experience a new variant of high-class cricket with more competitiveness and enhanced quality.

Another factor that comes along with franchise cricket is the positive atmosphere that it creates for a country to improve their own game where franchise cricket creates more opportunities for players to participate in games and in the process earn some big money and gain added motivation.

For a country, franchise cricket is vital to unearth hidden talent while domestic players are able to play against top international opposition and maintain high standards to succeed.

The most successful franchise league on the planet is the Indian Premier League (IPL) which goes back to 2008. Leagues like the Caribbean Premier League, Big Bash in Australia, Bangladesh Premier League, Pakistan Super League and most recently the Lanka Premier League (LPL) are the other main leagues highlighting franchise cricket.

Franchise cricket is making a great impact on the sport of cricket starting with the number of fans it absorbs to the more financial influence and resources it gains while attracting young blood for the growth and development of the game.

Here are a few factors that can be identified as the causes for the immense success of these franchise leagues:

* High scoring pitches that have ensured more interesting games with more runs
* Relatively close boundary lines for more fours and sixes
* Higher financial stakes to attract better quality players
* A high number of followers
* Brand of attacking cricket
* Backing up and positive contribution from the ICC and the respective cricket boards

But franchise cricket is also criticized for some displays and patches it has. Downsizing and decreasing the quality and true spirit of the game through less challenging game infrastructure has caused some serious arguments in the cricketing world.

The technological resources and tactics each country uses to analyze foreign players and to train young local players to face them in the international arena (especially for spinners) is another topic that critics are marking as a negative impact towards the international game.

Providing more attention towards batting to spoon out more runs to increase the energy of games makes it so harder for bowlers while it creates a huge blow to their confidence and quality this is a serious point of disappointment that hurts the true core of the game.

Small grounds and boundaries form a lack of quality in franchise leagues that get into the red-light zone in front of the whole sporting world on their quality while unethical and unjustified acts and approaches of franchise owners create chaotic environments that have caused a huge impact on the quality of franchise cricket.

An organisation like the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) not allowing their players to play in overseas leagues to maintain their nation’s cricketing pride and not allowing Pakistan’s players to play in the ILP have directly stood against the main core which cricket stands for, justice and equality.

Money is another factor that divides and unbalances the quality between the leagues while limited involvement of the ICC in these leagues have been a point where some questions arise and that’s why more ICC involvement will ensure that the leagues will reach the standards what it lacks in some areas.

Political involvement is a barrier that franchise cricket is forced to bear while match-fixing and other forms of corruption threaten to take away the gloss of franchise leagues. These are some of the main factors that have been causing disputes over franchise cricket over the years.

Yes franchise cricket has done wonders for the game but yet it has a long way to go. Franchise cricket has its own faults and yet it has its bright side that shine upon all of them and if it can overcome these barriers, franchise cricket will develop more and more where it will become the front-line ambassador of world cricket and its success.


The Sri Lanka Premier League (SLPL) was the first attempt of Sri Lankan Cricket in 2012 with the participation of seven teams bearing the names of Uva Next, Basnahira Cricket Dundee, Kandurata Warriors, Ruhuna Royals, Nagenahira Nagas, Uthura Rudras and Wayamba United, that represented seven districts across the island.

Originally the tournament was planned to be held in 2011 but allegations of corruption and incompetence by Sri Lanka Cricket handed over the league to a previously unheard Singapore-based Somerset Entertainment Ventures. It was the main reason why the SLPL didn’t take place in 2011 while India refused to authorize 12 of their players to take part in the tournament.

But the tournament was launched in 2012 where UVA next was crowned as the champions of the tournament while Dilshan Munaweera and Jacob Oram topped the charts as the leading run-scorer and leading wicket-taker respectfully. The competition became an instant hit in Sri Lanka but it was also a flop as it never reached the heights that were expected as it could not go beyond one season.

Sloppy management and investment and sponsorship issues leading to the low quality of the tournament were the main reasons behind its downfall.

LPL Sri Lanka

The LPL proved to be the force to fill up some of the missing parts in Sri Lankan cricket in 2020. The second edition of this new Sri Lankan cricketing structure concluded recently with flying colours showing all the signs that this tournament will be a great success in the near future. Jaffna Kings, (previously named as Jaffna Stallions) was the most dominant force in the LPL so far where they clinched the titles in both seasons. Mahesh Pathirana, Janith Liyanage, Nuwan Thushara and Kamindu Mendis are some highly talented players that came through the LPL. Increase in foreign player involvement was another bright spark in the two seasons creating a major taking point when considering the quality of the tournament. The financial influence was also better in the LPL’s second edition when compared to the first edition.

Dedicated coaching staff backed by responsible management also made the event an international success that brought forth lots of positives for the future of Sri Lankan cricket.