A T20 tournament in Sri Lanka – the Uva Premier League T20 – seemed to be progressing well, at least according to reports online, before Sri Lanka Cricket released a statement saying no such competition was taking place, calling it a “fantasy tournament”.
The Uva Premier League T20 was slated to be played from June 29 to July 5, and had it happened, it would have signalled the return of cricket in Sri Lanka after the Covid-19-enforced break. However, SLC on Wednesday stated that the tournament had nothing to do with SLC, and in fact wasn’t taking place at all.
That was surprising since a few websites had carried scorecards from the first day of matches, as per which Monaragala Hornets were beaten by Wellawaya Vipers by three wickets in the opener, before Mahiyanganaya Unilions saw off Badulla Sea Eagles by eight wickets in the second match.
“Sri Lanka Cricket wishes to announce that neither SLC nor its affiliates have any knowledge or any involvement with a fantasy tournament staged by an undisclosed party under the name and title of ‘Uva Premier League T20’, despite some media reports published by Indian websites claiming that such a tournament is being played in Sri Lanka from June 29, 2020 onwards,” the statement read.
“It was noted that several Indian websites have even advertised a scoreboard on June 29 stating that the Uva Premier League T20 is being played at the Badulla Stadium, but SLC wishes to confirm that no such tournament was taking place and or will be held in Sri Lanka.”
This is fake no one has spoken to me or neither I’m interested to speak or to play the tournament. Please don’t give any publicity
— Farveez Maharoof (@farveezmaharoof) June 28, 2020
Reports suggested the tournament was set to feature Farveez Maharoof, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Thilan Thushara, Dasun Shanaka and Ajantha Mendis, but Maharoof, who reports said was one of the captains, called it out as fake news on Twitter.
“SLC wishes to clarify that the said tournament is neither sanctioned by SLC nor organised by any of its affiliates and therefore, SLC assumes no responsibility with regard to the said tournament,” the statement said.
“Moreover, SLC wishes to state that SLC is constantly on the lookout for intellectual property infringements by unauthorized parties and has resorted to taking appropriate legal actions to prevent such incidents.”
According to Cricket Next, however, the SLC had given permission for the tournament beforehand, before abruptly calling it off after their legal team unauthorised it.