Sri Lanka Premier League 2012 August 9, 2012

SLPL gets top Indian auto-maker as title sponsor

ESPNcricinfo staff

The SLPL has unveiled Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M), one of India's largest automobile manufacturers, as the title sponsor of the inaugural tournament that begins on Saturday. This announcement ends a run of bad news for the league, including the withdrawal of its biggest draw, Chris Gayle, and other top international players in the past few days.

The addition of one of India's prominent business groups as the title sponsor is further evidence of the appeal of Twenty20 cricket to companies wishing to promote their brand and products. S.P. Shukla, the head of Group Strategy at the Mahindra Group said Sri Lanka is a "strategic market for the Mahindra Group", and that cricket was the best way for the company "to connect and engage with audiences as it is the most followed sport in the sub-continent with a fan base of approximately 1.5 billion fans across India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Bangladesh alone."

However, the tournament has been hit by the loss of some important names. Gayle has been ruled out due to a serious groin strain. Two other overseas players - Pakistan's Abdur Rehman and West Indies' Fidel Edwards - have also withdrawn from the tournament, while Bangladesh allrounder Shakib Al Hasan was denied permission to play in the tournament by the Bangladesh Cricket Board last week.

The Uva Next franchise have replaced Gayle and Rehman with Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Fawad Alam and Jacob Oram. The Uthura Rudras have drafted in Kyle Mills and Australia batsman Rob Quiney to replace Shakib and Edwards. 

The seven-team SLPL kicks off on August 11 and will feature a round-robin stage where the teams will play each other once. The top four teams will then go through to the semi-finals. All the games will be split between Colombo and Pallekele. A total of 56 overseas players had initially been signed. But some of those players will only take part if other overseas players became unavailable.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Wicky on August 11, 2012, 8:38 GMT

    @sumit176,wel lankan board doesn't need ur concent i gues?

  • aditya on August 10, 2012, 22:12 GMT

    india is a big brother of sub continent......they should support the good contries and let them earn well from there medium.....all the best to slpl

  • Vijay on August 10, 2012, 20:03 GMT

    lankanlioncric: I think 4 is better than 0... and 51st place is better than no place at all... better worry abt ur country's progress...

  • Rahul on August 10, 2012, 18:34 GMT

    SL cricket needs India support in each and every step

  • lankan on August 10, 2012, 18:07 GMT

    even indians criticize Chinese achievements in Olympics. 81 medals vs 4 medals? 2nd place vs 51st place? give credit where it deserves

  • Amjad on August 10, 2012, 14:59 GMT

    I can see the jealous feelings pouring out of the Indian fans comments. You think only u can organize a League?

  • Dummy4 on August 10, 2012, 13:53 GMT

    SLPL is a domestic tournament...if Lankans people like it,Then it will be one cares if global audience watching it or not.Just like BPL,was Massive hit in Bangladesh.

  • sumit on August 10, 2012, 11:14 GMT

    @yorsrilanka..then again send ur team to pakistan,,,

  • surendra on August 10, 2012, 10:32 GMT

    SLPL will be a failure like BPL... Srilanka cricket board will even sink down.. Srilankans are making scars to look like Tigers (IPL), they will soon realize the after shock pain

  • Nilantha on August 10, 2012, 9:31 GMT

    @ozone- thanks for your support, you are our cricketing brothers and nothing will change that...

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