Chris Gayle, one of T20 cricket's biggest draws, has pulled out of the inaugural Lanka Premier League (LPL) along with England pacer Liam Plunkett and Pakistan's Sarfraz Ahmed, dealing a huge blow to the tournament even before its take-off. <p></p> <p></p>Gayle and Plunkett's withdrawals were confirmed by their franchise Kandy Tuskers. <p></p> <p></p>"We are sad to announce that Chris Gayle will not be playing for us in this year's @LPLT20," Tuskers tweeted without specifying the reasons for the West Indian's decision. <p></p> <p></p>https://twitter.com/KandyTuskers/status/1329085157664428040 <p></p> <p></p>This was followed by another tweet, "We are also sad to announce that Liam Plunkett will also not be playing in this year's @LPLT20." <p></p> <p></p>https://twitter.com/KandyTuskers/status/1329309609186639872 <p></p> <p></p>The 41-year-old swashbuckling Jamaican holds the record for hitting the most number of sixes in the T20 format. He was recently seen in the IPL, turning up for Kings XI Punjab. <p></p> <p></p>The latest developments from the LPL come a day after former Pakistan skipper Sarfraz's pullout from the franchise-based T20 tournament that is facing a host of issues including player payments and contracts. <p></p> <p></p>Sarfraz was to captain the Galle Gladiators franchise. <p></p> <p></p>Gayle and Plunkett were set to join former India all-rounder Irfan Pathan, Munaf Patel, local icon Kusal Perera, Sri Lankan T20 specialists Kusal Mendis and Nuwan Pradeep among others in the team. <p></p> <p></p>The LPL is scheduled to start on November 26 with a clash between Colombo Kings and Kandy Tuskers in Hambantota, with the final slated for December 16. <p></p> <p></p>Five teams -- Colombo, Kandy, Galle, Dambulla and Jaffna -- will compete for the top prize in the tournament. <p></p> <p></p>The Kandy franchise is owned by Bollywood actor Salman Khan's brother Sohail and will be coached by former Sri Lanka batsman Hashan Tillakaratne.