The Lions’ bid to recruit Sri Lanka batsman Kumar Sangakkara for the Ram Slam T20 challenge has been hampered by a late change in next month’s international cricket’s schedule.
Friday saw the abandonment of the West Indies’ tour of India due to a payment structure dispute between the West Indies Cricket Board and West Indies Players Association.
Sri Lanka have since been confirmed as India’s replacement opposition. The sub-continental big guns will meet for a five-ODI series, which will start on 1 November and span into the beginning of the Ram Slam T20.
Sri Lanka Cricket, therefore, are unlikely to release the contracted Sangakkara for – at least – the Lions’ opening four fixtures of South Africa’s premier domestic Twenty20 competition.
‘No professional overseas player has been confirmed for our team yet,’ Gauteng Cricket Board marketing and corporate communications manager Andra Ferreira Nel told SA Cricket magazine.
The stalwart Sangakkara gathered 1 382 runs in 56 matches at a healthy average of 31.40 and brisk strike rate of 119.55 before retiring from Twenty20 International cricket earlier this year. He remains an integral member of the Test and ODI teams, though.