Sri Lanka news June 28, 2011

Indian sports minister asked to resolve SLPL deadlock


The Sri Lanka sports minister has written to his Indian counterpart asking him to intervene in the dispute over releasing Indian players for the Sri Lanka Premier League (SLPL), according to Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) chairman Somachandra de Silva. Officials from the two countries' cricket boards met in Hong Kong, on the sidelines of the ICC conference, on Tuesday to discuss the issue again but were unable to make any progress.

"We had a discussion with the BCCI asking them to release the players," de Silva told ESPNcricinfo. "Earlier they had sent a letter signed by Mr Srinivasan, the secretary of the BCCI, saying they are going to release the players for our tournament. So now that they have changed their minds and for that we are very sad and disappointed. Even our sports minister has written to their [India's] sports minister to try and intervene and solve this issue."

de Silva said the BCCI were adamant that they could not release the players because of the involvement of Somerset Entertainment Ventures (SEV), a private company which won the marketing rights for the SLPL, but that explanation was confusing because IMG, a private company, is involved in the IPL.

"What they are saying is there is another party involved. There is no logic. What about the IPL tournament? There is another party involved - IMG. What is IMG doing with IPL?"

de Silva said he was mystified by the BCCI's stand because the two boards had a good relationship, and SLC were only asking for second-string Indian players while Sri Lanka had sent their national team to England without some of their top players because of the IPL.

"Even our captain didn't go on tour with the team. The captain went after that. So I sincerely hope the Indian cricket board will think about it again and release these players. This is not a long tournament. It is only 16 days. Not like the IPL, which is 51 days. I can't see the reason." Irfan Pathan, Munaf Patel, R Ashwin and Praveen Kumar are among the dozen Indian players reportedly signed up by the SLPL.

de Silva added that the standoff has not affected the relationship between the two countries but he was disappointed by the situation. "As the chairman of Sri Lanka Cricket, I am sad about the whole situation. Because our relationship is so good and so I don't know why they have refused their second-string players.

"I sincerely hope that Shashank [Manohar] will go back and speak to their committee and reverse the decision."

The Sri Lankan sports minister had said last week that the BCCI had informed him that it didn't want Indian players in the tournament because the former IPL commissioner Lalit Modi was involved with it. Modi has denied having any links with the SLPL, something which SEV reiterated through a statement on Tuesday.

"Contrary to recent news/media reports, SEV would like to point out emphatically that Mr. Lalit Modi has no stake or involvement whatsoever in SEV, either directly or indirectly, and has nothing to do with the SLPL or any tournaments of SLC with which SEV is involved on any level," the statement read. "Mr. Lalit Modi is neither a partner nor a shareholder and is not associated with SEV, or its founders or shareholders, in any capacity, either now or in the past."

Tariq Engineer is a senior sub-editor at Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Rakesh on June 30, 2011, 12:28 GMT

    SLC should understand that their players put IPL before country. Why blame BCCI? It was not a favor from SLC. I do agree that BCCI has grown into a bully but why dont people look into their own backyard before blaming blindly.

  • Grass on June 30, 2011, 10:12 GMT

    BCCI doesn't want the Indian players to be signing a contract with Somerset (which is run by Indians as a matter of fact), which is a private company. This makes it look like Somerset, a private company are the employers of the Indian players.This is different from the IPL where the private party IMG is NOT the one that offers contracts. Contracts are offered by the IPL/franchisee. All the Indian players playing in the SLPL irrespective of which SLPL franchise they are playing for have been offered contracts by Somerset, not by SLPL That is the BCCI's objection.

  • Ravinda on June 30, 2011, 10:10 GMT

    SLPL is something we all are looking forward to- just as IPL was. Great entertainment. Now BCCI want to take all the fun out of the tournament on some flimsy reason. SLC has officially stated that there is no hidden factor as suggested by BCCI,which they should accept in good faith. Or, are we all to start doubting official word from all parties ? come now,we would like to see bashers like Valhathy,or bowlers like munaf in action here. We did not ask much,and we know it is in BCCI's power to give. India should think long and hard on this matter,because cricket lovers in Colombo will have a long memory.

  • P Subramani on June 30, 2011, 7:14 GMT

    SLPL is a good prospect as a tournament if one doesn't consider the extremely hot weather. Players who return with their limbs intact are so exhausted that they are washed out for any legitimate cricket thereafter. Even the IPL is the same. It exhausts the players no end. I do not think the BCCI should issue a carpet ban. They should just restrain the current team players of the ODIs and 20/20s from participating. The others should be allowed because they will remain unaffected.

  • Dummy4 on June 30, 2011, 3:43 GMT

    @Sehwagologist Whenever you're commenting,all the time they are very egocentric can keep on boasting,but there may be sometime you have to regret about it.India is not the greatest EVER cricketing nation in the world,But ONE of the greatest cricketing nations in the world.Every teams has Ups and Downs.see that now its India's turn.but you have already seen what happened to West Indies giants.So do respect for the other nations and don't try to emphasis they are inferior or can go as high as possible,but at the when the limit reach,you will fall, and when you do, don't let the door to hit your A**

  • Harshvardhan on June 30, 2011, 0:34 GMT

    No india wants to play and BCCI henceforth does not allow its players in slpl for peanuts,henceforth stop ur sports minister getting desperate and asking his counterpart in this matter ,gimme a break its a third string players team as ashwin,praveeen,munaf will be in eng if u have any self respect then stop asking again and again when indian board is rejecting No india wants to play and BCCI henceforth does not allow its players in slpl for peanuts,henceforth stop ur sports minister getting desperate and asking his counterpart in this matter ,gimme a break its a third string players team as ashwin,praveeen,munaf will be in eng if u have any self respect then stop asking again and again when indian board is rejecting

  • Kasi Viswanadh on June 29, 2011, 20:03 GMT

    Srilankan board shouldn't bother about the participation of second string Indian players. Not many here will watch the SLPL even if they play. Infact, I think the likes of malingas and jayawardenes attract us more than irfan pathans and vijays

  • sri on June 29, 2011, 18:07 GMT

    @JavagalSrinath Good question. I dont know the answer either LOL. we only know the BCCI representatives like srinivasan and shashank but not the union ministers :)

    @SLfans and @indian fans fighting over the stats Please get a life and dedicate ur energy on something useful.

    OTOH its sad, disappointing and disgusting to see SLC requesting indian minister to invlove in this matter. What makes them think that these second string indian players will attract the audience back in india esp when the national team is touring ENG in july. Move on SLC no body wants to see the likes of jadejas vijays. We ahve seen enough in IPL and thats what u call fatigue.

  • Vikas on June 29, 2011, 17:38 GMT

    I request my country fellows from India to not let go our tradition of respect for one and all. Some of the comments here are very arrogant. Why are we converting a cricket match into a battlefield between 2 hostile countries? Sanga, Mahela are as elegant and great to watch as SRT VVS or RD is. So please enjoy the beauty for you never know if you get the same treat ever again in your lifetime. As far as refusal is concerned, it is pure business. Even a brother does not want his own brother to start the same business so why would BCCI?

  • boy on June 29, 2011, 15:27 GMT

    As for Jayawardane, he was the man of the series the last time SL toured England. We both know, SL gets a raw deal in FTP. The fact him who has played for SL for almost 12 years having played only 4 test matches in Australia shows the lack of opportunity he has got. Mahela is a class act and any neutral cricket fan would rate him high. Just ask Chappell or Tony Grieg or even India's own Gavaskar. As for SL players not being crowd pullers, IPL ratings are already declining. What do you think will happen if SL players don't participate? Increase or further decrease? Going back to SLPL - it is organized to help young SL players get a rub and learn from those such as Gayle, Gibbs etc. It would have being a loss if SRT or Dravid was not allowed to play. But what can our players learn from Valhanty or Patel or Pathan? Money is not the concern but performance. Why do you think Pollard who gets paid so well wants to participate? Mull these things over mates.

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