LPL terminates Dambulla franchise a day after player auction after the arrest of team owner

Image Source : FILE Dambulla Thunders were terminated by Lanka Premier League with their owner getting arrested

Lanka Premier League (LPL) terminated the contract with the franchise Dambulla Thunders a day after the player auction following the arrest of the team owner Tamim Rahman in Colombo on Wednesday, May 22. Rahman was arrested by Colombo Police under the 2019 Prevention of Offences Relating to Sports Act, relating to corruption. 

“The Lanka Premier League (LPL) announces the termination of the Dambulla Thunders franchise, effective immediately. This decision follows recent developments concerning the franchise’s ownership and the legal issues faced by Tamim Rahman, Founder of Imperial Sports Group,” a Sri Lanka Cricket statement read.

“While the specifics of the charges against Mr. Rahman remain unclear, the integrity and smooth functioning of the Lanka Premier League are of utmost importance. This termination aims to uphold the values and reputation of the LPL, ensuring that all participants adhere to the highest standards of conduct and sportsmanship,” the statement added.

For now, the Dambulla franchise doesn’t have an owner. Dambulla was one of the two franchises in LPL 2024 along with Galle with a new owner. Dambulla went from being called Aura to Thunders and Galle went from being Gladiators to Marvels. “We are committed to the highest standards of transparency and professionalism and will continue to support all our teams, players, and fans during this transition.” LPL rights holder IPG group chairman Anil Mohan was quoted as saying in the SLC statement.

Rahman-led Imperial Sports Group were the bidders for the Dambulla Thunders. However, the team will now have to look for a new owner as what happens to the franchise is yet unclear, even though they did get a few star names to their side including Mustafizur Rahman, Ibrahim Zadran and Iftikhar Ahmed.

The squad also has quality Sri Lankan internationals in its roster, Dilshan Madushanka, Nuwan Thushara, Akila Dananjaya, Danushka Gunathilaka and Nuwan Pradeep among others.