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October 12, 2008
David Morgan, the ICC president, has said the US$70 million proposal between Sri Lanka Cricket and IPL chairman Lalit Modi is "quite unacceptable behaviour against the background of Sri Lanka's signed agreement with the ECB".
The Sunday Telegraph has quoted Morgan condemning the deal, which, if ratified by the BCCI, would force the abandonment of Sri Lanka's Test series in England in May 2009. According to the report, Morgan pointed out that only last month the ICC reaffirmed the primacy of Test cricket with the unanimous agreement of all Full Members.
Sri Lanka's tour is due to run from April 21 to May 30, while the IPL is scheduled for April 10-May 25. The series clashes with the latter stages of the IPL's second season, and a number of the Sri Lankan squad - such as captain Mahela Jayawardene, Muttiah Muralitharan and Kumar Sangakkara - have signed lucrative contracts to play in the IPL.
Sri Lanka's sports minister, Gamini Lokuge, asked the board to release players for the IPL, indicating that Sri Lanka could be forced to field a second-string side to England. In September, Arjuna Ranatunga, the interim committee chief of SLC, insisted the tour would go ahead. "We have a memorandum of understanding with the England and Wales Cricket Board for the tour and we must honour that," he said.
Sri Lanka's one-day tour of Pakistan was cancelled in April-May this year because the dates clashed with the IPL's inaugural tournament.
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