Sri Lankan domestic cricket receives financial boost
Sri Lanka Cricket's domestic inter-provincial tournaments have received a big boost from a Singapore-based company, Somerset Entertainment Ventures Ltd, who have come forward to sponsor the three formats - the four-day league, limited-overs and Twenty20 for the next five years, beginning in 2011. The tournaments will come under one umbrella and have been re-branded the Sri Lanka Premier League.
The sponsors will pay SLC a sum of $1.75 million a year to run the three tournaments, which is a tremendous boost for inter-provincial cricket.
"We partnered Sri Lanka Cricket to revamp the cricket infrastructure played in the country. The new tournament will be called the new Sri Lankan Premier League," Somerset Entertainment Ventures Ltd chairman CEO Sandeep Bhammer said at a press conference.
"What we have recommended to SLC is to effectively take the three formats that are currently played under this tournament. Take the teams that represent the various provinces, allow for foreign players to come in at a very basic level and create a Sri Lankan Premier League tournament where the team that actually wins the Premier League is the team that actually accumulates the maximum number of points across all formats of the game and not just one format.
"This has been actually been thought of with a lot of consideration because there has been a lot of focus to just one area of cricket which is essentially the T20 format. We believe that youngsters in Sri Lanka excel across all formats and to that extent the way we've designed the league is to effectively give maximum number of points to the four-day format, followed by the one-day format and the minimum number of points to the T20 format. In any case the team that wins the independent individual T20 format has to compensate itself by essentially going and playing in the Champions League. The idea is to create a robust cricket structure."
Bhammer stated the tournament would run in two different times of the year - the T20 and one-day tournament will be played at one point and the four-day tournament seperately.
"The theme is three-fold to improve the quality of cricket played in Sri Lanka, ensure that the players in Sri Lanka are given a platform to show their skills across all the three formats and thirdly, to make sure that the clubs which are the feeders into the provincial cricket infrastructure also benefit."