After the success of the Indian Premier League in UAE, Sri Lanka is all set to host the inaugural Lanka Premier League. While the tournament promises to bring back the joy in the lives of the cricket fanatics in the island nation amid the pandemic, it will also give a platform to young cricketers to make a mark and take it to the next level. <p></p> <p></p>The LPL was scheduled to take place before the IPL but was postponed due to the rise in the number of coronavirus cases in the country. Now that the tournament is days away, some big names like Lasith Malinga and Chris Gayle have pulled out of the tournament. <p></p> <p></p>Mahinda Rajapaksa International Stadium in Hambantota will be the only venue used throughout the course of the league. The tournament will follow the format of double round-robin between 5 participants Colombo Kings, Kandy Tuskers, Jaffna Stallions, Galle Gladiators, and Dambulla Hawks over 20 fixtures, before a playoffs stage. <p></p> <p></p>All the teams are closely matched and that will make the tournament exciting. But who are the players one needs to keep an eye on. <p></p> <p></p><strong>Shahid Afridi:</strong> In the absence of Lasith Malinga and Gayle, former Pakistan cricketer Shahid Afridi will be arguably the biggest star on display. The 40-year old will be a part of the Galle Gladiators and the team will rely heavily on the experience he will bring to the table. <p></p> <p></p><strong>Irfan Pathan:</strong> In terms of popularity, the former India cricketer is not far behind. Eyes would be on Irfan to see if he can still swing the ball and trouble the batsmen with his variations. He would be an asset for the Kandy Tuskers with the bat and the ball. <p></p> <p></p><strong>Angelo Matthews:</strong> The Lankan veteran is a part of the Colombo Kings and would be expected to deliver. Expectations would be high on his shoulders and it would be interesting to see how he manages to live up to it after the long break due to the pandemic. <p></p> <p></p><strong>Carlos Brathwaite:</strong> Eyes would be on Brathwaite as he is a proven match-winner. The international star would be featuring for the Dambulla Hawks. The Hawks would hope the former West Indies captain fires and helps the franchise win matches. <p></p> <p></p><strong>Shoaib Malik:</strong> The Pakistani star would play for Jaffna Stallions. The Stallions would hope he brings all his experience to the fore and helps them win matches in the tournament. It would be interesting to see which batting position is given to him.