Sri Lanka news May 4, 2011

Top players approached for Sri Lankan T20 league

ESPNcricinfo staff

Sri Lanka Cricket is organising a Twenty20 league in July and August 2011 featuring their top players as well as internationals from India, Australia, Pakistan, West Indies and South Africa. The tournament, which will have five regional teams led by senior Sri Lankan cricketers, is the latest in a series of Twenty20 leagues, with some degree of international participation, that have been created over the past few years.

The league will be run by the Singapore-based Somerset Entertainment, which won the organisational rights and is now looking at securing a TV deal. It is understood to have approached around 35 international players including Yuvraj Singh, Kieron Pollard, Chris Gayle, Yusuf Pathan and Shahid Afridi, and most of Sri Lanka's leading cricketers.

Salaries in the league will be on the lower side; one estimate suggested three salary slabs with the highest at $30,000, which is what a mid-level player would get for each game of the IPL.

The BCCI is understood to have given the league its blessing and the tournament's timing - it will coincide with India's Test series in England - will suit India's limited-overs specialists. An Indian player, who was one of the first to be approached by the organisers, said he was made to understand that the tournament was being held with the approval of the Indian board.

"I was made an offer during last season of Ranji Trophy," the player told ESPNcricinfo. "I did not agree at the time but they [the organisers] said it is not as popular a league as the IPL so money won't be that big. We left it by saying we can talk more as the time goes. Perhaps a new offer could come after the IPL."

While the league will be a lower-profile event compared to other Twenty20 tournaments, it is likely to benefit from the fact that many players will be free from international commitments at that time. It is also likely to draw in several players who are no longer active in international cricket. Shoaib Akhtar is one player who is understood to be a certainty for the tournament and Herschelle Gibbs is also believed to have been approached.

The league will also be a boon for players from Pakistan, who currently are not part of the IPL and whose international exposure has been limited because of security issues.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Sarathi on May 6, 2011, 18:33 GMT

    people who love cricket more than money, will come and play in SLPL.Akthar, Afridi, gayle etc etc are big class players.they will definitely help towards the wealth of cricket in this island. even though Sri Lanka has 1/63 population to that in India,SL has always produced great cricketers and got rapid advance in this game than Indians shakes the beauty of cricket by sacrificing it to challenge that, SLPL like things should come in to play..

  • Cric on May 6, 2011, 12:00 GMT

    Let's have a condition saying, "Sorry, only true cricketers are allowed and approached." Everybody knows SLC doesn't have much money to spend on only cricket. From the news what I got to know was, SLC won't be paying big amounts of money to invited international cricketers like IPL does, therefore it might be more likely volunteering towards the standards of cricket. If they are already playing in IPL and earning a lot, then I don't see a reason why at their free times how they can't just come and enjoy a true game of cricket. SLPL was ealier named SL Inter-Provincials which started actually in 1990s, but revived in 2004. The only reason foreign players will be playing in SLPL will be the financial boost they got from SEV. I know one thing, even if invitees wouldn't be glad to come, I'm pretty sure Sri Lankans will be enjoying our own Provincial games with even only our own cricketers. Our seniors will be molding the future of SLC, however. It was always like that.

  • Dummy4 on May 6, 2011, 8:51 GMT

    HAHA every Starting T20 Games next world world wib b back at 2015? i dont think so.. now a days ODI Macthes and Test matches are played sometimes only more over T20 only played by Internation players ! plz stol these T20matches it wil affect! every Cricket Nation!

  • Anjana on May 6, 2011, 8:32 GMT

    I cant understand why so many indians finding faults with SLPL. This is no threat or competition to IPL as comparatively very low amount of money involved. People speak about a possible failure as high priced players may not participate in SLPL, but talent or good cricket always cannot be measured by the amount of money. There are enough quality talented players from SL, Pakistan, BD who could entertain the crowds if Indian high profile players do not wish to participate.

  • Dummy4 on May 6, 2011, 3:18 GMT

    Great ..great...great...!!

  • Dummy4 on May 6, 2011, 3:17 GMT

    Great idea from SLC...I suggest to play more than six teams by inviting 2 eye catching teams from some where in the world...!!!!!

  • Dummy4 on May 5, 2011, 23:27 GMT

    great idea like our big brothers..IPL..but should target the budding youngsters in sri lanka like the indian idea...foreign players upto five per team is ok..can play the second fiddle to IPL.targetting the pak players is good as they have so much talent.

  • Dummy4 on May 5, 2011, 17:46 GMT

    Hope this would allow new players from north and east of sri lanka to show their skills n reserve a place in international cricket.....

  • Dummy4 on May 5, 2011, 15:44 GMT

    $30,000 is a very low amount to attract top players... nd the players mentioned here.. pollard.. yuvi.. pathan.. gayle are million dollar players..

    this SLPL will be a another flop as like ICL... :-|

  • Dummy4 on May 5, 2011, 12:02 GMT

    One thing is very clear frm al dese comments. . U guys cannot tolerate d success of a high profile tournament like the INDIAN PREMIER LEAGUE. . Hence i could see lots of stomach burning like hell. . Wat ever we r proud to be a trend setter and d success of IPL is evident frm d fact u guys frm pakistan and srilanka are posting such comments. . Like it or not, India always rocks. .

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