Indian & Sri Lankan Cricket in New Row

June 20, 2011

A row regarding a Sri Lanka Premier League Twenty-20 tournament starting next month has broken out between cricket authorities in India and Sri Lanka.

The Indian cricket board has refused to let 12 players take part because it says the tournament is run by a private company, an allegation which Sri Lankan cricket officials deny.

The recent decision from the Indian authorities comes after they refused to let Sri Lankan players leave a similar tournament in India early to prepare for the current tour of England.

Reports say that initially India’s cricket board had said it had no problems with its players participating in the inaugural Sri Lanka Premier League (SLPL) to be played between 19 July and 4 August in Colombo as long as it did not clash with the players’ domestic or international schedule.

However, an announcement by the board on Saturday, June 18, revealed that it would not allow its players to participate in the tournament because it was “being organised by a private party”.

Sri Lanka cricket official Nishanta Ranatunga told Espncricinfo that the Twenty-20 tournament had been approved by the Sri Lankan cricket board and that a Singapore-based company owns the commercial rights of the tournament, having “won it through a tender process”.

Ranatunga added that the Sri Lanka board was “surprised and hurt” by India’s decision, and would meet today, June 20, to look at ways to tackle the situation, saying: “We need to explain the matter to the Indian board and whatever concerns that they have, we need to give them an explanation. It is very important to have them [Indian players] as they add a lot of value and glamour to the tournament.”

In April, Sri Lanka’s Sports Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage ordered the players to return from the Indian Premier League to prepare for the tour of England.

However, he later backtracked, saying his predecessor Gamini Lokuge had made a 10-year-deal allowing the country’s cricketers to play in the Indian Premier League. Mr Lokuge denied the claims.