Champions League T20 2013 news August 26, 2013

Sangakkara to choose between Kandurata and Sunrisers

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Kumar Sangakkara will have to choose between playing for Kandurata Maroons and Sunrisers Hyderabad in the upcoming Champions League T20 in India, after Sri Lanka Cricket have expressed a strong desire for him to represent Kandurata in the tournament. SLC has gone as far as seeking legal counsel on whether they can ask Sangakkara to play for Kandurata, even if it will effectively cost both Sangakkara and the board significant sums of money if he plays for his local team.

Sangakkara had previously said his IPL contract leaves him with no choice but to play for Sunrisers, but CLT20 organisers have since confirmed that players are free to choose, although they must forego 20% of their IPL salary if they do not play for their IPL team. For Sangakkara, who is on a $700,000 annual contract, this would mean a loss of $140,000.

The Champions League rules also state that if a cricketer is a part of two qualifying teams, and does not play for the team from his home country in the tournament, the team he represents must pay his home side $150,000. As the Kandurata team is a direct extension of SLC, it is the board that stands to lose out on these funds.

"My understanding is that there are financial consequences for not playing for your IPL team, but not necessarily breach of contract consequences," Dean Kino, head of business and legal affairs for the Champions League, said. "Under Champions League rules, the player has a choice."

Players' tri-partite contract with the IPL and the IPL franchisee defers to the Champions League rules on the subject of whether he can represent another team in the tournament. Section 3.1 (h)(i)(iii) states that a player must play for his IPL side in the Champions League, "unless the rules of the CLT20 permit the player to elect to play for another team which has qualified for the CLT20, and the player so elects." Thus, because the Champions League allows him to choose, there is no breach of contract if Sangakkara plays for the Kandurata side.

SLC have maintained that they would like Sangakkara to play for their own team, after Kandurata gained entry to the Champions League qualifiers by lifting the Super Fours provincial Twenty20 trophy.

"Obviously we would prefer him to play for Kandurata," Super Fours director Ajit Jayasekara said. "We have nominated him for Kandurata, but I believe Hyderabad have also nominated him.

"We have presented the playing conditions governing the IPL and Champions League to our lawyers and are awaiting a decision from them. We are following this procedure just to ensure that there is a correct interpretation of the players' conditions. We'll have to wait and see."

Jayasekara also said SLC will be unable to fully compensate Sangakkara for his losses if he plays for Kandurata, but did not rule out offering him compensation of some sort. "We cannot match up to his fee at Hyderabad, because it's not fair on the other players. I can't comment on whether he will get some kind of compensation, because that's an executive committee decision."

The Sunrisers squad for the tournament has not officially been named, but ESPNcricinfo understands that he is in the franchise's plans for the Champions League. Sunrisers has also scheduled Sangakkara in for appearances at functions during the tournament, and he is expected to be part of their advertising as well.

Seam-bowler Nuwan Kulasekara also plays for both Kandurata and an IPL franchise that has qualified for the Champions League. He is unlikely to be picked for Chennai Super Kings, however, for whom did not play a single match this season, thanks largely to the ban on Sri Lankan players in Chennai.

If Sangakkara plays for Sunrisers ahead of Kandurata, he will be vulnerable to criticism from some fans at home, among whom anti-IPL sentiment is readily espoused. Earlier in the year, the board had attempted to cast its cricketers as mercenaries who value financial gain over country ahead of a contracts dispute, and in April, Dinesh Chandimal was praised by sections of the public for turning down a soft offer from an IPL team. Sangakkara is perhaps the most popular personality in Sri Lanka, but even he felt the fallout from the contracts crisis, when he was abused at the boundary by a fan in Galle Stadium, during the first Test against Bangladesh in March.

Sangakkara is presently in the West Indies where he helped Jamaica Tallawahs win the Caribbean Premier League title. He returns to Sri Lanka on Tuesday.

Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Qa_ankit on August 29, 2013, 13:05 GMT

    Just one question. How about for those players who are playing for three teams.. :P like Gayle, Malinga. They are playing for three three team. How about them. Will they have to pay two team to play for one.?

  • jmcilhinney on August 29, 2013, 10:32 GMT

    I think that it's a great shame that more players don't play for their "home" team in the CLT20. In fact, has anyone ever chosen the non-IPL team if they had a choice of two? I think that some Indian fans forget sometimes that, if the IPL is the best domestic T20 tournament, it's really only because of the foreign players. If the IPL teams had to stick to two overseas players in the CLT20 like everyone else does then we'd likely see a much more even contest, especially if those who had a choice picked the team from their home country. Mind you, with many overseas players playing in many T20 leagues now, we might see some players having to choose amongst three or even more possible teams. Having said all that, the IPL is a business and the players are paid professionals, so I don't have an issue with either.

  • cric_leo on August 29, 2013, 8:03 GMT

    let sangakkara play for SRH and get the compensation from IPL franchise and distribute that sum equally for other players in kandurata. it will roughly one million rupees for one player. it is hugely beneficial for non capped players in kandurata side and save the purpose of SRH

  • Dhushan on August 28, 2013, 17:42 GMT

    Oh this is very interesting. Let's see if Sangakkara selects his home club over money, knowing that he has a choice of playing for whichever team.

  • dummy4fb on August 28, 2013, 13:38 GMT

    Would be a tremendous shame if Kumar Sangakkara does not play for the Kandurata Maroons with the form he is in now.. It would be fair for him if he could be compensated from the Sri Lankan Cricket board in someway although they cannot match the 20% of the fee he is losing by not playing for Hyderabad Sunrisers.

  • android_user on August 28, 2013, 13:27 GMT

    no matter what.. sanga will play for sunrisers..

  • dummy4fb on August 28, 2013, 11:22 GMT

    i think the matches should be shifted it will rain in hyderabad

  • yohandf on August 28, 2013, 6:04 GMT

    i have been observing comments on Sangakkara issue . Words like mercenary and patriot sentiments have come up . First we should understand that SLC has already denied players like Sanga getting a fair payment in last month . First they cancelled test vs South Africa (so match fees gone) . Then unable to conduct SLPL . Also they were forced to play short termed Super4 T20 series form which they could not take part initial stage of CPL . Super4 T20 tournament was the poorest domestic T20 series ever conducted ina test country . Participation fees of one match is 4,000 Sri Lankan rupees (USD 30 ) . Prize for Champions is SLR 1,000,000 ( USD 7500 ) which to be divided among 22 persons . We should be respect to people like Sanga and others for playing SL under such ill - treatment by own cricket board .

  • maddy20 on August 27, 2013, 19:46 GMT

    Hope he chooses Maroons and saves SRH. Sangakkar might be a good ODI and Test player but very poor when it comes to T20

  • dummy4fb on August 27, 2013, 16:22 GMT

    Trinidad & Tobago loses the talent of Pollard, Bravo, Cooper & Badree. This team is chosen form a tiny twin island of 1.3 million. While we have Sunil Narine, it is gong to be tough to win this.