Sri Lanka cricket September 24, 2008

Sri Lanka Cricket clarifies stand on ICL players

Marvan Atapattu will be only allowed to play in the Premier League Cricket Tournament this season © Cricinfo Ltd

Sri Lanka Cricket has revised its stance on ICL cricketers playing domestic cricket after a meeting with the sports minister Gamini Lokuge. The board clarified that the approval, given by the interim committee, to ICL players last week to play domestic matches was limited to the "upcoming Premier League Cricket Tournament 2008 only".

"All ICL contracted cricketers will not be permitted to represent teams at district, provincial and international level," SLC said in a statement.

On September 19, in an unexpected move, the SLC allowed five cricketers and an umpire, who had signed up for the unauthorised ICL in 2007, to take part in domestic cricket. Marvan Atapattu, the former Sri Lanka captain, Russel Arnold, Upul Chandana, Avishka Gunawardene, Saman Jayantha and umpire Ranmore Martinesz were the players who benefited from the decision.

However, at the meeting, Lokuge stressed the importance of working together with the Indian board, which has had a close relationship with the SLC for a long time. The BCCI had expressed its disappointment at the news of lifitng of the ban on the ICL players.

Lokuge also requested SLC's interim committee to negotiate with the England board so that Sri Lanka's IPL players can take part in the Twenty20 league next year. The tour, as of now, clashes with the IPL and Lokuge asked the committee to work out alternative dates and proceed with the tour. He is also yet to ratify Sri Lanka's Twenty20 squad for the Canada Cup Four Nation 20/20 in Ontario from October 10 to 13.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Mahek on September 25, 2008, 6:18 GMT

    You have so lost your marbles. The ICL cannot field an Indian XI for international cricket because it is not the governing body for cricket in India. That privilege lies with the BCCI and will continue to do so until the ICC unrecognises it, which obviously will not happen.

    Regarding being employed by two different employers, even the IPL players are under the employ of two different organisations and in some cases even more. David Hussey has a contract with Cricket Australia, Kolkata Knightriders and Derbyshire. Where are you freemarket rules now?

  • Daniel on September 25, 2008, 5:43 GMT

    So, what is the reasoning behind lifting the ban for these 5 players for one series only? Why did the SLC make this decision?

    Can anyone explain that to me?

  • Ravish on September 25, 2008, 2:31 GMT

    IndiaGoats, It may be free market, but in free market you are not employed at the same time by two employers who are basically competing against each other. You might think ICL is a competitor to IPL and ICC should stay out of it. However, ICC might think that leagues like ICL are a threat (or competitors) to each one of their affiliates and collectively the member nations have decided to not let ICL players be employed by them. Nobody is preventing them from joining ICL. However, they cannot expect to be employed by both employees at the same time. That is not my understanding of free market. If I understand correctly, ICL is having its own version of India XI. Nobody is stopping them. However, don't expect BCCI to let them play in its version of India XI and BCCI has every right to lobby other affiliates at ICC to do the same. In fact, most nations will do it on their own because they might see more rival leagues pop up in their own backyard.

  • Kumar on September 25, 2008, 0:42 GMT

    BangaloreKid, what you are saying will happen is what should happen. All the wannabe leagues should fight it out fairly in the free market and whichever is the best in terms of execution and entertainment value should win. Rather than BCCI controlling and monopolizing the market. Many of the successful leagues like NBA and NFL did have such wannabe leagues which eventually ran out of steam.

    Also, I don't think there is the fear of too much domestic cricket. The only reason IPL was a success is because the domestic players played along with the internationals. Further, players who have made their mark in international cricket are the ones who succeed (or get paid well) in the IPL. Again, the correct mix of domestic vs. international engagements will work itself out if left to the open market and competing businesses.

  • Thirucumaran on September 24, 2008, 17:11 GMT

    Surprising? NO! Obviously, Mr. Lokuge seems to be the chief selector, and he's flexing his muscle wherever possible! Looks like he himself might put his name on the next team sheet if jayasuriya fails to bat properly!

  • Ravish on September 24, 2008, 16:55 GMT


    You are only looking at it from players perspective. If BCCI recognizes ICL, I can assure you there will be private leagues popping up all over the place in all countries each claming their own world championship in T20s. Zee, Star, ESPN will all have their own leagues, There will be 5 India XIs. There will be no control of who is doing what and the whole managed test/one day/T20 structure will be scrapped. That will be the end of test cricket. If Zee, ESPN, and Star have their own leagues, then why would they be interested in buying coverage for BCCIs version of India XI? The ICC revenues will drop substantially. There will be basically 5 XIs for each country with each league having one of them. Do you think people will have interest in watching meaningless cricket tournaments then? BCCI is managing IPL and they can control it from dominating FTP. Each country will soon start their own domestic T20 league like IPL to prevent their players from jumping ship. It is manageable.

  • bvlnrao on September 24, 2008, 16:48 GMT

    ICL is not harming international cricket. IPL is. Look at the SLC issue. Players want to play in IPL as they get more money instead of going to England. ICL is not stopping the players from playing international cricket when an ICL tourney is going on. However, it will be interesting to know what would ICL do if a player is not available because of playing for his country. Will it pay full amount? If granting official status to ICL will allow more such tourneys to crop up, Let it be. Players would get good pay and there by are bounded to perform better. I would rather watch an exiciting domestic match rather than a boring international match. SLC shouldn't have showed its back to ICL players. Its BCCI that is depending on SLC for it's vote. As per FTP, BCCI has to go to SL for playing and has to honour SLs right to visit India.

  • Rajasundram on September 24, 2008, 13:48 GMT

    Why is it that the IPL players can play in the English County Cricket matches of all forms and it is allowed, but when Sri Lanka does it Big Brother comes around flexing his muscles?

    Having good relationship does not mean that we must 'kowtow' to their every demands. We must think independently and allow the players the same privileges that they enjoy in England. In fact all countries should follow ECB and allow the IPL players to player in their domestic league. These players are trying to earn a living by playing cricket - they should not be cast aside as 'pariahs'.

    By all means deny them from playing International matches but allow them to play domestic cricket. The IPL v ICL is an Indian issue and I don't think that the rest of the world has to bow down to the monetary power of the BBCI.

    Sivasubramaniam from Singapore

  • Ravish on September 24, 2008, 12:43 GMT

    I think Gamini Lokuge did a good job in averting a major crisis at the ICC. If SL removed ban on ICL players, I could easily see BCCI increasing length of IPL to 5 months in order to compete more directly and efficiently against ICL. I could also see them shifting their focus from internationals to domestic games. This would have the consequence of drastically reducing ICC revenues and also players being poached by both IPL and ICL without needing any IOCs from boards. It would have been an all-out competition between the two that would have decimated many of the international teams of its players. People who say ICC should recognize ICL have no idea what they are talking about. They would have seen 3 or 4 more leagues crop up in India if ICC had approved ICL and all of them would have been competing against each other through out the year and destroyed international cricket completely.

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