What is the Disability Premier League?

The Disability Premier League (DPL) is a cricket tournament featuring players with a hearing impairment, physical disability and learning disability. An initiative of the England Cricket Board, the DPL was launched in 2022.

The DPL is contested between four teams as of 2023. These teams are Black Cats, Pirates, Hawks and Tridents. An initial draft of players from the international and domestic circuits is released. The domestic circuit players are ones who have played in one of the 51 county championship teams. A team of DPL must have players with all three disabilities in a fairly equal balance. A total of 16 players make one team, which means nearly five players from each disability must make the squad.

The tournament is played on four consecutive weekends. It is held in the T20 format. Each player in a squad has to play at least two matches. At least 20% of the overs must be bowled by a bowler from each impairment pool. This means that a minimum of four overs are to be bowled by players from each disability. Between the 6th and the 20th over, the fielding side can take an extra powerplay for one over. This is called the “Explosion Over.” Players with hearing impairments need to remove their cochlear implants or hearing aids during fielding.

The DPL is streamed live on Sky Cricket. Entries for spectators are free in the group stages. However, tickets need to be purchased for the finals. The Tridents won the competition in 2022, whereas the Hawks were the winners of the 2023 edition.

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