Sri Lanka will play host to a cricket tournament in which eight teams with a blend of retired international players and budding under-19 hopefuls will vie for honours.

The tournament is called the International Cricket Premier League (ICPL) that will feature teams from Test playing nations including Sri Lanka.

Each team will have six under-19 players and five so-called senior iconic players.

Pakistan won the inaugural tournament held in Dubai and the second championship will be worked off in Sri Lanka from January 7 to 13, 2017.

The eight teams will be divided into two groups and play in a qualifying round of matches at the P Sara Oval in Colombo.

The top two teams of each group will play in the semi-finals at the Premadasa Stadium which will also host the final.

The under-19 players who will fall into the Sri Lanka team will be picked from an Academy in Kelaniya while the senior iconic players will be from ex-national players.

Former captain Sanath Jayasuriya has been designated as the brand ambassador for the event as organisers expect him to be a role model for youngsters.

The tournament is organized and run by Ali Tours and Travels under the direction of its head Ali Asfak Thara who also owns a cricket academy in Bangalore, India.

“A major facet of the ICPL is to develop youth cricket along with making the sport more accessible and engaging for supporters of the game. The tournament will add another dimension to the competitiveness and quality of cricket for spectators and professionals. This season will be an evenly matched tournament as all eight teams will have exciting talent,” said Ali at the tournament’s launch held at the Kingsbury Hotel in Colombo on Tuesday night.

The matches will be worked off on the T/20 format.

Former Indian Test cricketer Pravin Amre plays a part in the organizing committee and said the tournament was designed for confidence-building among young players among other aspects of competition.