Sri Lankan cricket October 10, 2008

SLC look for $70-million BCCI bailout


The Sri Lanka Cricketers' Association (SLCA) and sports minister Gamini Lokuge have finalised a proposal that could bring in $70 million for Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) over the next 10 years but will seriously undermine Sri Lanka's Test tour of England. The proposal, which will be presented to the BCCI, will require the full participation of SLC within the IPL and its sister tournament, the Champions League, for the next decade.

The proposed deal follows the recent decision by Lokuge that the Sri Lankan players contracted to the IPL will be released from the tour of England following the cancellation of Zimbabwe's tour to England.

SLC officials admitted it would be impossible to hold the the two-Test series in England. "The series is definitely off since it has not yet been ratified by the ECB and still remains subject to its approval. So, there is absolutely no chance they are now going to sanction the series against a virtual Sri Lanka A side," a board official said.

However, the officials offered the ECB a three-match ODI series after May 25 and were also considering an invitation to play in a Stanford 20/20 tournament prior to the World Twenty20 in June.

"We have a signed contract with SLC in which we agree to play two Tests and three ODIs" an ECB spokesman told Cricinfo. "We have had no other contact from SLC."

The SLCA had discussed the England tour issue directly with IPL chairman Lalit Modi in Mumbai two weeks ago, during which Modi unveiled his plans for Sri Lanka, conditional upon SLC pledging full support for the IPL and the Champions League, the only exception being Sri Lanka's tour to England in 2011.

The financial commitment will include an annual payment of between US$3-4 million for participating in the Champions League starting from 2009. India will also try to replay the cancelled 2006 tri-series featuring Sri Lanka and South Africa at some stage next year. An additional tri-series, worth an estimated $18 million, has been pledged for 2010 as well.

The fine-print of the deal will be discussed at a meeting in Mumbai on October 19 between the BCCI and a Sri Lankan delegation which will include an official from the sports ministry, SLC chief executive Duleep Mendis and Graeme Labrooy, the secretary of the SLCA.

The final proposal will be presented to SLC and the sports minister for ratification.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Tony on October 14, 2008, 9:23 GMT

    Dear BangaloreKid please can you back up your statement that the "BCCI contributes 80% of the revenue to world cricket". Can I respectfully suggest you have got your Rupee's and Dollars confused?

  • Manoj on October 12, 2008, 16:44 GMT

    Folr those people slamming the BCCI , I'm no fan of BCCI either. But here there is an attrition between BCCI and ECB. ECB after having been running cricket (illegitimately over so long), are not able to function in the free market (unlike the ACA). Given that both BCCI and ECB are competitors and will do things to undermine each other and protect their interests, it seems to be something pretty logical for the BCCI to do. It has to protect its turf (Asia) and its tournament (IPL). SL cricketers too like to play IPL , because for the money and also the adulation of Indian cricket fans (instead of the racial epiteths they are sure to receive in England and Australia when they play there). I feel its all very fair under the circumstances and a win-win for SL and India. Manoj

  • Rohit on October 12, 2008, 12:54 GMT

    This move is certainly going to play spoilsport for the harmony in world cricket. Those experts who had presumed that IPL will kill the sporting spirit and enflame the commercialisation of cricket has come true with this decision. This is starting of a sad chapter in cricket history.

  • Ravish on October 12, 2008, 11:58 GMT

    This is bound to happen and ECB should accept the fact that they do not control ICC any more. IPL and ICL have barely touched their potential in India. Even then, BCCI contributes 80% of the revenue to world cricket. It is just not practical to assume that a nation can contribute so much portion of ICC revenues and still be seated as one of 8 equals in ICC. Look at U.N. and permanent members of security council. Those with most money have the most influence and dictate terms. With IPL and ICL, India will account more than 90% of cricket revenues. You are seeing BCCI (with IPL) and ICL turn attention inwards and focus more on domestic cricket because there is still a lot of untapped revenue internally. It is like a NFL, NBA, or MLB in USA. The only way for other nations is what Aussies and SA are doing. Plan on developing their domestic leagues and tie up with India. ECB and English press are unable to digest the fact and are just whining.

  • Samuel on October 12, 2008, 7:35 GMT

    I've not read anything to change my initial view. If the Sri Lankans want to go and take the Indian silver, then they should, I am not saying that they should not, merely that they should never expect to play another test match in England. Despite the all-too-predictable whinging from the Sri Lankan fans about the "oppressive" ECB, I think you'll find that a tour of England and home series against them are 2 of the highlights of a Sri Lankan cricketer's career.

    In addition, the next time a smaller Asian nation produces a spinner with a dubious action, the ECB should not turn a blind eye in the way it has done in the past - what's the point of giving such a team every help to become a competitive test nation when all they want to do is whatever the BCCI tells them!

  • Richard on October 11, 2008, 10:24 GMT

    It's a very difficult situation. The premier league Twenty20 cricket is here to stay - at least while it remains popular and there's money in it for broadcasters - in one way it's about time cricketers earned some decent money when you've got Premier League footballers taking home offensively large wages week after week.

    But because over recent years the rolling tours programme coupled with matching one-day series' have flooded the schedules, IPL and ICL was always going to push those schedules over the edge, and now we beging the tussle for the pure forms of the game to remain at the forefront, battling with large sums of cash for the more entertaining and potentially public-friendly cricket-lite.

    I just hope it doesn't get too messy and farcical, the IPL and Indian board hold a lot of control over the game currently, but they must not be able to use the lure of money to ride rough-shod over the test tour programme.

  • fazle on October 11, 2008, 8:55 GMT

    I am glad to see commenters here have seen the real problem. IPL could however be put to good use - it could solve the scheduling problems created by too much cricket nowadays and let cricket be played in the right seasons. Imagine playing test cricket in May -June in the subcontinent !!

    So lets go back to test cricket in sub-continent during October - March, in england in June - August, in Australia from November - March and so on.

    There should be a fixed slot for IPL and ICL during the year which will remain as a permanent fixture and should not clash with test cricket.

    And remember, ICC must remain in charge of world cricket.

    Lets not spoil cricket by pandering to external forces and playing mindlessly in excessive heat and in the monsoons !!

  • Rajaram on October 11, 2008, 7:30 GMT

    The monster of IPL has raised its ugly head again. Lalit Modi is using his arrogance of money power to pay Sri Lanka $ 40 million to forfeit their commitment to play the Test Cricket series planned by ICC between Sri Lanka and England.

    This is disgusting. This is a precedent for other Boards to stop playing Test Cricket. ICC is impotent to put its foot down and nip such actions in the bud.

    It is also sad that none of the former cricketing greats (except Arjuna Ranatunga) are speaking out against the harm that IPL is causing to the Game of Cricket.

  • Ajanthan on October 11, 2008, 4:52 GMT

    If the local boys can make millions in the hot sun in India, I am sure they can play cricket in the winter. Arjuna is our world cup winning captain, he knows what is good for cricket. The same boys are now playing in the cold Canada..its colder than UK. Its all money that is taking the front seat not the passion of representing the country internationally.

  • Rizvi on October 11, 2008, 3:29 GMT

    I agree with crpcarrot, you cant blame the players as they had signed contracts with IPL with the consent of Sri Lanka Cricket. At the time of signing the contracts there wasn't any matches scheduled.

    Now that the ECB has offered this tour to us as they do not have anyone else to tour UK. and more those living in UK very well know it is very difficult to play for our guys during this time of the year. The wickets are green and cold and it has been a habit of ECB to invite us for the early summer season and not during the latter part of the season. If one observes the after 1998 September, when Sri Lanka beat England by 10 wkts at The Oval, we have been never invited to play in the late summer. I don't see firstly why SLC should accept the ECB offer.

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