Sri Lanka news November 18, 2015

SLC releases seven players to play in BPL

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Tillakaratne Dilshan is among the high-profile Sri Lanka players to be released by the SLC © AFP

Sri Lanka Cricket has agreed to release seven high-profile cricketers to play in the Bangladesh Premier League, an about-turn from their stance last week.

A desire to maintain a good relationship with the BCB, and the one-week postponement of Sri Lanka's domestic one-day tournament have led to the change of heart. SLC's desire to see foreign cricketers - including those from Bangladesh - participate in its own city-based T20 league, may have also influenced the decision.

Tillakaratne Dilshan, Sachithra Senanayake and Ajantha Mendis are among those who will now be allowed to play in the BPL.

SLC had been opposed to issuing no-objection certificates to its centrally contracted players largely because their absence would have diluted the quality of the forthcoming Premier Limited Over Tournament. That tournament was originally scheduled to begin on November 20, but it now appears likely to be put off until around November 27, thanks to prevailing bad weather in Colombo.

As the BPL runs from November 22 to December 15, the cricketers leaving to Bangladesh will miss several rounds of the Premier Limited Over Tournament in any case. However, SLC officials said the home clubs had agreed to release these seven centrally-contracted players, and some players themselves had made appeals to be allowed to play in the BPL. The players had argued that BPL experience would stand them in good stead come the Asia Cup in February next year, which will also be played in Bangladesh. All seven players released are likely to be in contention for Sri Lanka's Asia Cup squad, and indeed the World T20 to follow.

SLC has also said it would like to have overseas cricketers participating in the inaugural Elite Championship T20, which is set to begin towards the end of January. That tournament would appear more attractive to sponsors and broadcasters if two foreigners featured in each of the five teams. Given the current international schedule and the money that is likely to be on offer, SLC believes cricketers from Pakistan and Bangladesh are most likely to be drawn by the Elite Championship T20.

In addition to the seven centrally-contracted players, two other Sri Lankans had already been confirmed to participate in the BPL - Kumar Sangakkara, who had been awarded a central contract but is now retired from international cricket, and Dilshan Munaweera, who does not have a central contract.

Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent. @andrewffernando

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Shuhab on November 21, 2015, 12:48 GMT

    Well done SLC. This tournament will be awesome!

  • Janith on November 21, 2015, 3:45 GMT

    Lol @aeroboy.ae.. Bcb 2nd richest??? Lol. BD people are so funny, and give us joy of jokes. Bcb is no where near, Ind, PAK, Aus, eng, sa, SLC, or even wicb

  •   Md Jabed Ali Shaon on November 20, 2015, 8:27 GMT

    Thanks to SLC for approving their player to play in BPL! :)

  • Ajmal on November 20, 2015, 3:51 GMT

    Like India, Bangladesh also have a huge spectators who can ready to watch any type of cricket at the stadium. of-course all the Asian countries are like that. Conducting these kind of premier league would provide lot of financial support to BD Cricket and also help to encourage and develop new bloods.

    Let us talk about BD Cricketer, BD has lots of Allrounders but all are Batsmen who could bowl Spin, largely because the conditions suits spinners and they are naturally getting this spin bowl talent. But BD needs to develop pace bowling allrounders. It would help them to increase the efficiency when facing countries in Green Pitch.

  • Farhan on November 19, 2015, 11:44 GMT

    Don't understand why Mahela went unsold. He would have available for the whole series as he is not playing international cricket. So many unknown players have been picked but not the Legend.

  •   Asif Hasan Rony on November 18, 2015, 23:36 GMT

    A big Fan of Sanga and Sri Lanka!

    Happy to see him as a captain of my team! Go Dhaka Dynamites! GO!

  • Shameem on November 18, 2015, 17:50 GMT

    Welcome boys in BPL. Hopefully,you guys will add both beauty and contest in BPL.

  • Anup on November 18, 2015, 16:32 GMT

    Better decision. It makes sense that SLC has Asia cup & WCT20 in mind. Moreover these members aren't part of the test squads. & also it will help to keep good relation with BCB, 2nd richest cricket board in Asia. I hope BCB too won't bar to issue NOC for their players to participate SLC's T20 tournament next year.

  • Hasib on November 18, 2015, 14:18 GMT

    Disappointed to see so many SL players. I was hoping to see more players from WI and a few from associate countries to see how they do. I would have only picked Sanga, Dilshan, and A. Mendis. Should have picked Ryan tendo, K. O'Brian, Etc.

  • kobir on November 18, 2015, 14:05 GMT

    HAPPY_HOOKEE, would you now care to write that PROPERLY so that we all can understand why in your VALUABLE! opinion BPL isn't a heavy profile tournament.

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