Sri Lanka news June 24, 2011

BCCI reiterates decision to stay away from SLPL


The BCCI has refused to change its stance on preventing Indian players from taking part in the Sri Lanka Premier League (SLPL) despite Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) offering bank guarantees to safeguard the Indian players' contracts. The two boards held a telephone conference on Thursday to discuss the issue, but were unable to come to an agreement. SLC, however, is expected to go ahead with the tournament as scheduled without the Indian players.

The BCCI had withheld its permission on the grounds that Somerset Entertainment Ventures, the company owning the commercial rights for the SLPL, would be handling the contracts for international players and that could lead to complications should disputes arise over payments. In order to assuage the Indian board, SLC were willing to back the Indian players' contracts so that their financial interests were protected, but that was not enough to satisfy the BCCI.

The BCCI's decision means the tournament will not have a broadcaster for the lucrative Indian market, a situation that makes it much more difficult for the SLPL to find a secure financial footing.

"It is their decision and we cannot force them to change their position," Sri Lanka's sports minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage told Daily News & Analysis. "We knew that India was not going to change its stand. That was the reason why we did not go to India. We made an attempt to convince them, but the BCCI told us that it cannot reverse its stand. They seem to have some apprehensions over the tournament."

The minister also told the Times of India that Lalit Modi was the reason the BCCI did not want to be part of the tournament. "The Indian board told us they couldn't send their players for SLPL because they felt Modi is involved in this event. The BCCI also said that Modi is the third party and is working behind the scenes."

The BCCI's stand is contrary to that of the Australian, South African, New Zealand and Pakistan boards, which have all extended their support to the tournament. Tim May, the chief executive of Federation of International Cricketers' Associations (FICA), also backed the event. In a statement, May said that the association had negotiated the terms and conditions of SLPL player contracts with Somerset.

"FICA approved the final form of the player contract in January 2011," the statement read. "FICA's approval of the player contracts was communicated to all player associations in January. I am very surprised to see reports from the Indian media, that BCCI do not believe that players should sign the player contracts - that is certainly not the opinion of FICA or our legal advisors, and it is our charter to protect all players and to ensure that player contracts for events around the world are in acceptable form to protect player interests."

May also said he had a letter from SLC confirming that the event is an official SLC tournament and is fully sanctioned by the ICC. Daniel Vettori, Kevin O'Brien, Shahid Afridi, Kieron Pollard and David Warner are some of the international players expected to take part. The winner of the tournament is still expected to play in the Champions League Twenty20 in September.

SLC consistently denied the SLPL is a private-party organised tournament, saying it is owned and approved by SLC - and so, automatically, by the ICC. It said that Singapore-based Somerset Ventures only owns the commercial rights to the tournament. It also denied that Modi has anything to do with the event.

Tariq Engineer is a senior sub-editor at Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Wala on June 25, 2011, 21:14 GMT

    Sri Lankan players, make sure you remember this. If they want to play hard we know how to reply!!!!!!!!!!

  • Dummy4 on June 25, 2011, 18:03 GMT

    we, indians pay the money for everything with our big audience and real cricket fans.. Naturally we will rule... be a part of ipl and enjoy.. dont try new ideas of different premier league and get into financial trouble..

  • Cricinfouser on June 25, 2011, 8:15 GMT

    The game has reached a stage where the lucrative television advertising is what rakes in the moolah. While the Indian TV audience is still attracted towards the game , the same is probably not happening in other countries or at least not happening in sufficient numbers. This is something that is not going to change overnight, and till it happens BCCI will rule the roost. Other options would be for the paying public in other countries to pay exorbitant amounts and watch the match at the stadium or for the players to accept a pittance and play. Fall in IPL viewership this year is probably due to the WC that preceded it and is most likely to pick up next year.

  • Dummy4 on June 25, 2011, 7:38 GMT

    Straight way allow players to make decision... and i think there is no harm in allowing players of 2nd option... The nationally important players should be restricted...

  • Sage on June 25, 2011, 6:57 GMT

    Well all I can say is India after 4 IPL seasons have not found any young cricketers for the future. Thanks to overseas players IPL is going ok for the moment. They play in their grounds and some of the young players doing bit ok. But in the recent concluded ODI series against West Indies was an example of India not having any young talent for the future. If not for senior batting line up India will have so many issues. But soon the will face reality and may be England tour might be an eye opener. No matter how you cut it India were just lucky to have won the world cup which I feel Sri Lanka gave it away. The rating for IPL is gone down tremendously too since it started four years ago.

  • Denham on June 25, 2011, 6:19 GMT

    Forget the Indian players and go ahead with the planned SLPL. Who cares if India does not watch it or Indian players do not take part? Most of the international players are taking part except for the POMS and wonder why? Does the SLPL clash with the English cricket calender? Anyways, we should learn to show the middle finger to the BCCI as and when necessary and as one had said above, there will come a time when Indian cricket will be in the doldrums and then when the begging tin is stretched forward, we should be in a position to remind them of the past. Retribution comes and it comes very slowly BCCI if you did not know it. All the best SLPL and I as a proud Lankan, I look forward to it.

  • manjitha on June 25, 2011, 5:52 GMT

    I think INDIA has now lost support of their two neighbors, PAKISTAN AND SRI LANKA. They have had lost the support of ENADLAND, AUSTRALIA, WI earlier. Also NZ is not fond of BCCI either. So voting descsions will almost all the time will be against India. That means UDRS voting will surely go against India, which is great !!!

    Now only two left BDESH and SA. Let's see how long India can control other nations.

  • Dummy4 on June 25, 2011, 4:20 GMT

    What happens when Sri Lanka and Australia and any other board that has been picked on by BCCI starts to ban their own players from playing in the IPL tournaments?Market value will go down as they are replaced by no name domestic Indian players.BCCI is making enemies quicker than it can buy bullets;my fear is that this kind of stuff will unite the world of cricket as never before because the rest of the world will despise the BCCI.Here's hoping someone sensible like Anil Kumble can take charge;for many years Don Bradman was in charge of what is now Cricket Australia so the precedent is there for a former great to take over.

  • J Ranjith on June 25, 2011, 3:44 GMT

    johnathonjosephs, So what is going to be a problem if India does not win any T20 game now? Do you say that because you do not have any other point to pull as India are ODI world champions now and no.1 in test cricket? If India have not won this world cup, you would have cited that as an example now. Alas, better luck next time.

  • J Ranjith on June 25, 2011, 3:41 GMT

    ranga_s, BCCI only sings contracts for IPL. Where does a franchise approach a player directly in IPL? BCCI only co-oridnates every signing of a player and during auction also, it only contracts the players to each franchise as they bid. Franchise do not have any right to approach a player, the reason why likes Manish Pandey got fined. Even Chris Gayle cannot be retained by RCB next IPL without bidding again. What it means is BCCI has the whole handle of all player signings in IPL. I don't understand what you are saying, even you don't understand what you are saying.

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