Sri Lanka Premier League 2013 July 17, 2013

Sri Lanka Premier League 2013 called off

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Sri Lanka Cricket has cancelled the Sri Lanka Premier League for 2013, after all eight franchises failed to pay the tournament fee and the bank guarantees for player payments, an official release confirmed. The franchises had breached two payment deadlines and forced the postponement of the player draft, and will now have their contracts terminated by SLC. The tournament was due to take place between August 10 and September 7. 


"We want to maintain the integrity of the board and the integrity of the tournament, so we had to take a stand," SLPL director Ajit Jayasekara said. "We can't have a situation where the franchises say, 'We will pay if the other franchises pay'.

"Player payments are a major factor in this. We are the only league in the world not to have defaulted on our player payments, and the franchises failed to provide those bank guarantees. We have given them enough chances and we can't stand this nonsense."

Jayasekara said the franchises had not made it clear to SLC that they did not wish to be a part of the tournament, and instead continued to promise to make the payments, before ultimately failing to deliver. In March, the franchises had successfully sought to increase the lease period for the teams from seven years to 15, amid fears seven years would not be sufficient to recoup their costs, but they have now seemingly opted to cut their losses after one season. 


All eight franchises and SLC's marketing partner Somerset Entertainment Ventures are understood to have made a loss from the inaugural tournament, but SLC had a profit of 289 million rupees (approx. USD $2.3 million). The franchises were due to pay USD $4.3 million a year on average, in order to participate in the tournament, but would have had to sustain operational costs in addition to that.

Jayasekara said SLC "haven't invested a cent" in this year's tournament as they were simply making preparations, and had relatively little to lose from cancelling the tournament. The board will, however, consider playing the tournament in 2014, but not before arriving at a new business approach.


"SLPL is suspended for this year, so now we have to sit with our partners, Somerset, and decide on a new model," Jayasekara said. "We have to decide on how and if and when we are going to call for bids for the franchises and get committed organisations."

The tournament had been scheduled to begin in 2011, but was cancelled that year, after the BCCI refused to allow its players to participate in the tournament. The inaugural season, the following year, was then largely plagued by poor crowds and a lack of interest at home. There were also allegations of spot-fixing in the tournament, though the tape which was provided as evidence was later found to be a fraud, according to Jayasekara. In addition, the Uva Next franchise that won the tournament, left several operational expenses unpaid, including refusing to foot costs to send the team to the Champions League. 



The three Tests, from South Africa's ongoing tour of Sri Lanka were also postponed, partly in order to allow the SLPL to be played. The Future Tours Programme had set aside most parts of the months of July and August for the tour, and despite SLC's official reason that it was the recently completed tri-series in West Indies that made the Tests against South Africa impossible, the dates originally allocated for the tour almost certainly clash with the SLPL schedule.

SLC has not yet sought a reinstatement of those Tests, in light of Sri Lanka's now clear schedule, but it is unlikely that if such a request is made, that CSA will agree to a Test series at such short notice.


The board has also announced an inter-provincial Twenty20 tournament will be played in place of the SLPL in August, the winner of which will represent Sri Lanka at the Champions League in India the following month.

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • SLMaster on July 19, 2013, 14:22 GMT

    If, SLC has little to lose, then why there are higher fees? This is what money does. SLC wants money, but do not care about improving youngsters and SL cricket. If Franchises lost money last year, SLC could have addressed this last year. There wanted a new model because no money this year. No one wants to part of the loosing game. SLC has to think of win-win situation. If franchises gain SLC gains, and players gain as well as cricket in SL.

    BTW these 20-20 leagues are useless.

  • warneneverchuck on July 18, 2013, 15:01 GMT

    As I predicted last year no league wil survive for more than few years except IPL

  • KingOwl on July 18, 2013, 13:33 GMT

    Great news. Now, hopefully they will reinstate the tests with SA.

  • on July 18, 2013, 13:11 GMT

    good news! It should be cancelled forever...

  • on July 18, 2013, 12:37 GMT

    Disappointment by my side, as I will miss the chance now to see the young talented untried Lankans play with the big's. They are one of the few teams I enjoy watching simply because of their love for the game and immense talent. I really hope we get to see the SLPL14!! Comparing it to other leagues is not a fair draw, simply because you cannot match the amount of money and fan base of IPL. However, talent wise I would rate SLPL to better than the other Asian leagues as of now. We are yet to see the Pakistani version of this, but I am sure if it were to exist it would be the most exciting one to watch. For now good luck to SLPL and SLC:)

  • on July 18, 2013, 12:35 GMT

    It is sad to see the SLPL cancelled. These tournaments give great opportunites to youngsters who never had a platform like this before. No T20 leagues should compete with each other, each country should try and have a tournament as big as they are capable of handling it. IPL for me is too long a format and should go on for a max of 2 weeks. Although I love test cricket too no one in this day and age has the time to watch a game for one whole day let alone 5 days (maybe one in a while yes). The most succesfull sports in the world today are played for 3-4 max that the attention span of a sports fan.

  • mark2011 on July 18, 2013, 11:28 GMT

    hope this would long last forever... SL do not need the PL carnival... instead better bilateral series will atract more crowd and good for the future of the game....

  • on July 18, 2013, 11:26 GMT

    @anupkeni no they wont cancel IPL 2014 they will simply move it to south africa like last time

  • on July 18, 2013, 10:58 GMT

    Another nail in the coffin for 20/20. Even the IPL will wither and die at some point like all the other 20/20 leagues around the world. You can't artificially manufacture excitement and enjoyment and hope it will last.

  • ms2000 on July 18, 2013, 10:35 GMT

    This is the best thing that could happen to Sri Lankan Cricket. It must be cancelled forever not just this time. Congratulations for cancelling same!

  • SLMaster on July 19, 2013, 14:22 GMT

    If, SLC has little to lose, then why there are higher fees? This is what money does. SLC wants money, but do not care about improving youngsters and SL cricket. If Franchises lost money last year, SLC could have addressed this last year. There wanted a new model because no money this year. No one wants to part of the loosing game. SLC has to think of win-win situation. If franchises gain SLC gains, and players gain as well as cricket in SL.

    BTW these 20-20 leagues are useless.

  • warneneverchuck on July 18, 2013, 15:01 GMT

    As I predicted last year no league wil survive for more than few years except IPL

  • KingOwl on July 18, 2013, 13:33 GMT

    Great news. Now, hopefully they will reinstate the tests with SA.

  • on July 18, 2013, 13:11 GMT

    good news! It should be cancelled forever...

  • on July 18, 2013, 12:37 GMT

    Disappointment by my side, as I will miss the chance now to see the young talented untried Lankans play with the big's. They are one of the few teams I enjoy watching simply because of their love for the game and immense talent. I really hope we get to see the SLPL14!! Comparing it to other leagues is not a fair draw, simply because you cannot match the amount of money and fan base of IPL. However, talent wise I would rate SLPL to better than the other Asian leagues as of now. We are yet to see the Pakistani version of this, but I am sure if it were to exist it would be the most exciting one to watch. For now good luck to SLPL and SLC:)

  • on July 18, 2013, 12:35 GMT

    It is sad to see the SLPL cancelled. These tournaments give great opportunites to youngsters who never had a platform like this before. No T20 leagues should compete with each other, each country should try and have a tournament as big as they are capable of handling it. IPL for me is too long a format and should go on for a max of 2 weeks. Although I love test cricket too no one in this day and age has the time to watch a game for one whole day let alone 5 days (maybe one in a while yes). The most succesfull sports in the world today are played for 3-4 max that the attention span of a sports fan.

  • mark2011 on July 18, 2013, 11:28 GMT

    hope this would long last forever... SL do not need the PL carnival... instead better bilateral series will atract more crowd and good for the future of the game....

  • on July 18, 2013, 11:26 GMT

    @anupkeni no they wont cancel IPL 2014 they will simply move it to south africa like last time

  • on July 18, 2013, 10:58 GMT

    Another nail in the coffin for 20/20. Even the IPL will wither and die at some point like all the other 20/20 leagues around the world. You can't artificially manufacture excitement and enjoyment and hope it will last.

  • ms2000 on July 18, 2013, 10:35 GMT

    This is the best thing that could happen to Sri Lankan Cricket. It must be cancelled forever not just this time. Congratulations for cancelling same!

  • on July 18, 2013, 9:41 GMT

    Only way to sustain such leauges BPL,SLPL is reduce franchises fee. it's too high.BPL' franchises fee is 1 mil $ (avg.) ,SLPL franchises fee is 4.3 mil $(avg.) BCB ,SLC made huge profit..but francize didnot make any profit.

  • on July 18, 2013, 9:31 GMT

    Read many comments saying it's good for Sri Lanka but it sounds like grapes are sour!! They have called off the slpl due to lack of funds and because they intentionally wanted to save the cricketers from fatigue and other excuse..

  • sweetspot on July 18, 2013, 8:32 GMT

    @Return-of-Sinhaya - No need of being disappointed with reality, and mere illusions going up in smoke. There is no way any sane person in the world can start a cricket league and hope to compete with India's enormous fan base and money muscle that the IPL exploits. SLPL or whatever you want to call it in the future will never be able to exercise the kind of clout the IPL has, unless SL's population grows to about 1.3 billion, is able to buy goods and services to the tune of trillions of dollars, and remains just as mad about cricket. Do you see any of this happening in the next 100 years?

  • sweetspot on July 18, 2013, 8:27 GMT

    I reckon reality has finally dawned on the little business houses that thought they could compete with a marketing machine that sells to 1.2 billion people.

    @ anupkeni - Absolutely NO chance of this happening. IPL may even move to another country, but it will not be cancelled, and certainly not due to elections that take place for ONE day!

  • 11_Warrior on July 18, 2013, 6:09 GMT

    @ajithdiasabey, it is decision taken by SLC lack of choice. SL palyeres and officials travell across the world to participate in T20 leags whereever they are palyed. No mettre who manages it.

  • palla.avinash on July 18, 2013, 6:01 GMT

    At least now sri lanka senior players will get rest ,they are playing tireless cricket and the fatigue had resulted bad losses they need rest.

  • on July 18, 2013, 5:40 GMT

    why ODI...between Ind and SL. They should play TEST matches

  • anupkeni on July 18, 2013, 5:34 GMT

    IPL 2014 could also be cancelled if it clashes with the general elections in India.

  • vish2020 on July 18, 2013, 5:33 GMT

    IPL comes ans all Asian nations started competing. SLPL done. Pak super league never even started. BPL just about to die down. Don't compare with India day in and day out.

  • ajithabey on July 18, 2013, 4:44 GMT

    It is indeed a blessing in disguise.SL should not be followers of other nations who play this type of tournament encouraged by gamblers and bookies and ruins the reputation of cricketers. A very wise decision taken by SL cricket board to suspend this tournament who would have only drawn retired and mediocre international cricketers. Sri Lanka would do well to negotiate a bilateral series with any other international team or try to negotiate with CSA to play the test series.

  • bala2rahul on July 18, 2013, 4:34 GMT

    @venkatesh018- excatly man. This is the same thing that I too fear. Bcci and SLC will arrange a 5 match bi-lateral series. India too will be free as the Zimbabwe tour will end on august 3rd. I hope my worst fears don't come true.

  • yohandf on July 18, 2013, 4:14 GMT

    @ Vijay ragawan - Good question from you . Currently we play ODI s at only in RPS , Pallekele & Hambantota . There are seven more international grounds . But Tyrone Fernando Moratuwa , C.C.C are sub stranded for international matches and not being used . Asigiriya is ok but owns to a school ( Trinity college ) so there are issues with that & we have got Pallekele near to that .So it wont be used . Dambulla has issues with flood lighting so not available for D/N .but administrators told they would conduct day ODI s vs NZ at the end of this year . I too was worried not having matches there in last 2 years . SSC , PSC , Galle conduct test matches . but these grounds dont have floodlights . so chances are slim to have ODI s there as 95 % of ODI s in SL are D/N these days.

  • venkatesh018 on July 18, 2013, 4:09 GMT

    Very good news. Hope SLC reschedules the Test series with S Africa. But I know what will happen. India and Sri Lanka will play a 5 match ODI series.

  • Venki_indian on July 18, 2013, 3:54 GMT

    @ReverseSweepIndia Already BCCI is helping SLC by setting up number of bilateral series with SL.

  • 9ST9 on July 18, 2013, 3:52 GMT

    @Jan Mohammad Jamali - Well everyone is entitled to their opinion. Despite not having as many big names as IPL teams many people find the Big Bash much better entertainment.

  • on July 18, 2013, 3:43 GMT

    can any sl fan tell me y sl are playing odi match in same 3 grounds h ambantota,pallekele,colombo .they have 10 grounds its boring to c sl playing in same venue

  • AllInFairNess on July 18, 2013, 1:55 GMT

    @Return-of-Sinhaya, Cat cannot think as tiger by merely having stripes in it's body.

  • vatsap on July 18, 2013, 1:04 GMT

    SL fans, wake up and smell the coffee. Don't compare your SLPL with IPL, which itself is a maze of scams. Instead wish for a better Test cricket team from your youngsters and board. That's the best way to counter IPL's power. Just take a look at how successful the Ashes have been.

  • on July 17, 2013, 23:59 GMT

    This definitely doesnt come as a surprise as I was already expecting BPL to take this route before SLPL. These boards have to get real and stop punching above the body weight. They shouldn't try and emulate BCCI and embarrass them selves on the world stage. They better stick to their usual fixtures and encourage test cricket and the domestic leagues before starting any thing on a grand scale.As I see, BPL is next in line

  • on July 17, 2013, 23:48 GMT

    Blessing in disguise, this. Let's have the three tests, please.

  • Snambidi on July 17, 2013, 23:17 GMT

    Things are happening fast.this will have great impact on the prospects of National team of SL.Players should learn that the National Spirit is above Money Business in Cricket.

    The IPL & other PLs should follow suit in the world of the Game of Glorious Uncertainty.

  • Danksl on July 17, 2013, 20:52 GMT

    No money no show, Simple and if the administration has any sense they would reduced the number of teams and play a good tournament. Can't they find at least 4 franchises. or please get the 3 tests back

  • anshu.s on July 17, 2013, 18:44 GMT

    Even as an Indian fan I am hurt and disappointed for young Lankan cricketers, some posters have written good riddance and that is what you get for cancelling test cricket, but two wrongs don't make a right , some Lankan fans in a different forum suggested it will be good for national team , but what about young domestic players ?? don't they have a right to get paid well and be seen and noticed on TV, after all your national team can have 15 or 16 players max..

    In games like football you have your nations competing against each other but mostly it is club based who play week in week out. What I am trying to say in a sport like football every league has 20 or so clubs and they are employing 500 odd players at a time while in cricket if you don't make it to your national team or get an IPL contract you are then missing out on big money and recognition ..

  • on July 17, 2013, 18:13 GMT

    Only reason why SLPL failed is because Sri Lanka lacks the cricket infrastructure that older Test Nations like England, India, Australia, Pakistan have. How can you expect the people of Colombo and Kandy to watch games where their team is not featured? With IPL, each team has a fan base and home ground with means $$$$$ for investors. SLPL can't function without building the home ground fan base. Same with BPL and if Pakistan continues with its PSL plans.

  • ReverseSweepIndia on July 17, 2013, 18:09 GMT

    I think BCCI need to help SLC a bit here. If they allow even mid level players, players like Yousuf Pathan, Rayudu, Nayar or other domestic veterans whose chances to represent India are gone, they still would attract good Indian audience and that will attract sponsors. Also players like Yuvraj, Irfan who are out of team can stake their claim for national team which will help players cause as well as SLC too.

  • on July 17, 2013, 17:36 GMT

    No tournament can compete with IPL. IPL is Watched worldwide while other leagues are watchless and boring.

  • cariocacricket on July 17, 2013, 17:32 GMT

    Instead of trying to compete with the IPL, why not have a domestic T20 tournament with the regular domestic teams and not franchises? So what if some businessmen lose money? At least the players and spectators get something out of it.

  • wrenx on July 17, 2013, 17:16 GMT

    The only real surprise here is that it folded before the BPL. I'm sure there are plenty of people hurting over this, and jobs that will be lost, but I still think it's a good thing, another step on the road to getting over our infatuation with T20 "premier" leagues. I won't miss it, and I suspect plenty others won't either. I wouldn't mind seeing a few more leagues vanish as well, and see players paid better to perform for their countries, and make them want to choose to play test cricket instead of a bit of hit & giggle game

  • kc69 on July 17, 2013, 16:37 GMT

    Comparing SLPL with IPL is a complete mismatch. This was bound to happen when revenue is short and foreign players are busy in their national duties. Controversies apart IPL is the only tournament which can withstand all financial constraints.

  • bala2rahul on July 17, 2013, 16:00 GMT

    Now that the SLPL has been cancelled, can they put back the three tests ??? Is it possible at short notice ??? At least 2 tests !!!

  • yorkslanka on July 17, 2013, 15:56 GMT

    Another example of the poor administration that our cricket has to battle against...

  • Return-of-Sinhaya on July 17, 2013, 15:34 GMT

    Very very disappointed, i was getting all ready for the biggest t20 tournament of the year and now its gone, i was very determined to prove why the SLPL is a lot better than the IPL

  • damith91 on July 17, 2013, 15:24 GMT

    Grt wrk by SLC.They cancelled the test series agnst SA for the SLPL & now they cancelled the SLPL too.Everythng is going wrng in SLC including team selection...

  • on July 17, 2013, 15:20 GMT

    This is what happens when you cancel Test matches. I hope this teaches SLC a lesson.

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  • on July 17, 2013, 15:20 GMT

    This is what happens when you cancel Test matches. I hope this teaches SLC a lesson.

  • damith91 on July 17, 2013, 15:24 GMT

    Grt wrk by SLC.They cancelled the test series agnst SA for the SLPL & now they cancelled the SLPL too.Everythng is going wrng in SLC including team selection...

  • Return-of-Sinhaya on July 17, 2013, 15:34 GMT

    Very very disappointed, i was getting all ready for the biggest t20 tournament of the year and now its gone, i was very determined to prove why the SLPL is a lot better than the IPL

  • yorkslanka on July 17, 2013, 15:56 GMT

    Another example of the poor administration that our cricket has to battle against...

  • bala2rahul on July 17, 2013, 16:00 GMT

    Now that the SLPL has been cancelled, can they put back the three tests ??? Is it possible at short notice ??? At least 2 tests !!!

  • kc69 on July 17, 2013, 16:37 GMT

    Comparing SLPL with IPL is a complete mismatch. This was bound to happen when revenue is short and foreign players are busy in their national duties. Controversies apart IPL is the only tournament which can withstand all financial constraints.

  • wrenx on July 17, 2013, 17:16 GMT

    The only real surprise here is that it folded before the BPL. I'm sure there are plenty of people hurting over this, and jobs that will be lost, but I still think it's a good thing, another step on the road to getting over our infatuation with T20 "premier" leagues. I won't miss it, and I suspect plenty others won't either. I wouldn't mind seeing a few more leagues vanish as well, and see players paid better to perform for their countries, and make them want to choose to play test cricket instead of a bit of hit & giggle game

  • cariocacricket on July 17, 2013, 17:32 GMT

    Instead of trying to compete with the IPL, why not have a domestic T20 tournament with the regular domestic teams and not franchises? So what if some businessmen lose money? At least the players and spectators get something out of it.

  • on July 17, 2013, 17:36 GMT

    No tournament can compete with IPL. IPL is Watched worldwide while other leagues are watchless and boring.

  • ReverseSweepIndia on July 17, 2013, 18:09 GMT

    I think BCCI need to help SLC a bit here. If they allow even mid level players, players like Yousuf Pathan, Rayudu, Nayar or other domestic veterans whose chances to represent India are gone, they still would attract good Indian audience and that will attract sponsors. Also players like Yuvraj, Irfan who are out of team can stake their claim for national team which will help players cause as well as SLC too.