The inaugural session of SLPL finished yesterday with "Uva Next" crowning as the champions in a rain shortened match. Although the final was highly affected with rain the thrill of a final was never lost mostly due to the unbelievable batting cameos by Mathews and Dilshan Munaweera. Probably the use of the "Duckworth-Lewis Method" in this match would not that fair to both the teams. But as per the performances of the teams I believe "Uva Next" deserved to be the champions after beating in form "Wayamba" convincingly in the semifinals. As in the half way stage it is also important to look at the performances of the teams and individual players.
- The main target behind the SLPL was to improve the cricketing skills of the local players and giving them a chance to perform with international players. Some of the players performed very well and some failed to take the maximum use of their chance. Some senior players such as T.M. Dilshan and Mahela regained their form through SLPL while players like Ajantha Mendis gained their way to the national team once again through SLPL. Mathews showcased his captaincy skills and his improved consistency as a finisher.
- Akila Dananjaya and Dilshan Munaweera have been the finds of the tournament. Both of them earned a place in the squad for the World T20. Munaweera surpassed Mathews as the highest run-getter in the tournament by 1 run in the final. Probably this should earn him a place in the starting 11 in the T20 world cup. Though Akila Dananjaya performed well in the early stages he was attacked severly in the final matches he played. Thus I think he should improve more before getting a Sri Lankan cap.
- Dinesh Chandimal and Thissara Perera were among the disappointments of the tournament. As the next generation of the Sri Lankan cricket a lot were expected from them. Also Bhanuka Rajapaksha failed miserably during the SLPL. The performance of local bowlers were also below par.
- Undoubtedly Pakistan players are the most benefited international players from this tournament. Most of the Pakistan players took part in this SLPL and they performed well in their respective SLPL teams and most of them got the chance to be in the playing 11. Players like Kamran Akmal made this a chance to regain their form and earn a place in their national teams. Also the experience they got from playing in World T20 venues will be very useful.
- Another disappointment was the failure of retired players. Jayasuriya and Muralitharan was totally out of form. Surprisingly Muralitharan remains at the bottom of the best bowlers list. He failed to take a wicket in his four appearances for Uthura Rudras and leaked 8 runs per over. His performance probably affected Uthura and they lost their first four games in a row.
- The most disturbing thing about SLPL is not the failures of upcoming players nor the success of foreign players, but the success of Sri Lankan players who have failed repeatedly at the international level. Their success induce a fear in the minds of Sri Lankan supporters. Fortunately despite the cameo played by Kapugedara against Ruhuna , he failed to secure a place on national team for the T20 world cup.
- Basnahira and Uthura were the main disappointments of the tournament. Although they had good teams the performance was well below par. And Wayamba was the chokers of the tournament.They outplayed all other teams in the league stage but choked in the semifinal. They had a very good team balance which can play on par with any other club team in the world and they would have a realistic chance to win the Champions League if they got selected. Missing Kamran Akmal in the semi finals due to national duty dented their chance of winning the semifinal.
- The SLPL started with lot of controversies. This was expected to start last year. But due to intervention of India it was postponed. Even in this edition no Indian players took part. Also the expected foreign stars decided to stay away from it at the last moment. And some players leaved SLPL at the halfway stage citing different reasons. But yet I think it helped Sri Lanka to uncover the next generation of cricketers. Also Hope that "UVA NEXT" will perform well at the upcoming Champions League in October.