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SLC eager to host IPL matches

Tariq Engineer in Colombo

January 3, 2012

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Upali Dharmadasa was elected unopposed as Sri Lanka Cricket's president, Colombo, January 3, 2012
Upali Dharmadasa, the SLC president, is looking to India to help increase revenue © AFP
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Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) has approached the BCCI about the possibility of hosting IPL matches, the new SLC president, Upali Dharmadasa, has said. The idea has been proposed as a way for SLC to raise additional revenue because the Sri Lanka Premier League (SLPL) failed to get off the ground last year, after the BCCI's refusal to allow Indian players to take part in the tournament.

It is for the same reason - an increase in revenue - that India's tour of Sri Lanka in July 2012 will comprise three one-dayers and three Twenty20 games, and no Tests as had been earlier planned. SLC is presently facing a severe shortage of funds following the construction of new stadiums in Pallekele and Hambantota and the renovation of the Premadasa Stadium for the 2011 World Cup.

"I feel it [a T20 league] is a needed thing," Dharmadasa told ESPNcricinfo. "But I don't think it is the right time with India having the IPL. With most of our players going and playing there and the countries being so close, I would request the Indian board, and we have already started talking, why not play a couple of matches in Sri Lanka?"

Dharmadasa pointed out that the flight from Bangalore to Colombo was only an hour long and the flight from Mumbai was only slightly longer than a Mumbai to Chennai flight. "Make it a venture," he said. "On the whole, they [the BCCI] will help Sri Lanka as a tourist attraction and see that Sri Lanka Cricket comes up."

India were supposed to play a full tour - three Tests, five ODIs and a Twenty20 game - in Sri Lanka but it was cut down to just three Tests in the new Futures Tour Programme. Dharmadasa then met with BCCI president N Srinivasan, after being appointed interim SLC president earlier this year, and convinced him that holding limited-overs games would be more beneficial financially to Sri Lanka.

"I am talking to the TV rights owners, Ten Sports," Dharmadasa said. "I am hopeful of raising almost US$12.5 million." He also said he was trying to arrange a fourth ODI as well. "From a revenue point of view, I would love India to tour Sri Lanka three times a year," Dharmadasa said. "Unfortunately, it is not possible. But whenever possible [we would like them to tour]."

The SLPL, in July 2011, had been postponed to August 2012, after facing a series of problems, including the unexpected withdrawal of Indian players from the tournament. The BCCI had withheld permission for its players to participate on the grounds that Somerset Entertainment Ventures, which owned the commercial rights, would be handling the contracts for international players and that could lead to complications should disputes arise over payments. There were also suggestions that former IPL chairman Lalit Modi had a hand in the event, but SLC and Somerset repeatedly denied those allegations, as did Modi.

Tariq Engineer is a senior sub-editor at Cricinfo

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Posted by SirViv1973 on (January 5, 2012, 7:25 GMT)

In an idea world I think there should be 12 IPL franchises and theses should be split in to a north and south conference. This would see the regular season games cut from 16 to 10 matches meaning the tournament could be played in a month lessening its impact on test cricket. If this happened then there would be no reason why Sri Lanka couldn't have its own franchise, perhaps Pakistan and or Bangladesh could have one to. It would then be a league for the whole subcontinent not just for India. Unfortunately this will never happen due to politics and the BCCI's greed! which is such a shame.

Posted by   on (January 4, 2012, 17:35 GMT)

BCCI is taking lot of fine business decisions but they failed to construct competitive team.All the wins for india in the recent past including world cup triumph was display of captaincy skills of Dhoni or rather mere luck.BCCI is only eyeing the massive revenue all the time and the proof of how long a lucky team can perform at their best is showing in Australia.

Posted by yorkslanka on (January 4, 2012, 17:25 GMT)

@ramesh Joseph: i am sure that the SL board have supported the BCCI in many decisions worldwide, where esle would you get support from, the Australians and the English?? come on ICC, why do you allow the constant politics to still go ahead within cricket?this is another interim comittee under a new name, doesnt the fact that all other candidates removed themselves tell you something???

Posted by kaushal_raut on (January 4, 2012, 17:08 GMT)

Shrilankans take whole IPL to your country.It has very badly hurted our cricket.Look at condition of our team in australia.

Posted by   on (January 4, 2012, 16:13 GMT)

Sri Lanka suffered in its last England tour becuase some of their IPL players arrived late and were not properly conditioned to play test cricket, Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardena were the culprits. It showed in their performance in the test series. Sanga struggled until he scored that century in the final innings and Mahela slumped very badly and never recovered. It is unbelieveable to hear that a test series was scrapped in order accomodate some carnival cricket. Both countries need more of test cricket to raise their standards. SLC got into this mess due to their own faults. Our test standing is on the decline and only just now we can see some light at the end of the tunnel with that win in Durban and Mr Dharmadasa's fancy ideas could see us plunging down the test rankings again. Many of our key batsmen are in the twilight times of their career. Their potential successors will get some on and off exposure only if we play more tests.

Posted by lone_purist on (January 4, 2012, 16:13 GMT)

Sad to see India lose this opportunity to help the game in other countries. Pakistan-friendly crowds will also help induct teams from PK, BD and SL

Posted by SLMaster on (January 4, 2012, 16:07 GMT)

Got to be kidding ... is this new president's first approach to increase revenue...Very 4th class approach. Be creative ... be intelligent ... IPL is going down. Haven't you watch the revenue last year Mr. President. And India to visit SL three times a year !!!!! I thought he is going to make more sensible decision... well what do I know... ANOTHER IDEA !!!! WHY NOT INDIA TEAM LIVE IN SRI LANKA EVERY OTHER MONTH....

Posted by Bruisers on (January 4, 2012, 15:34 GMT)

Not a bad idea.. This would not only help to strengthen the relations between BCCI and SL, but also be a learning experience for domestic players. Since this edition will have 70+ games, 2-3 games in SL wouldn't 'hurt' BCCI's revenue too much. Teams like Pune which doesn't have a proper 'home' venue and teams having many Lankan players may not mind playing a couple of their home games in SL. Also CSK has a lot of support from Tamilians in SL. So thumbs up..

Posted by PiyushD on (January 4, 2012, 14:32 GMT)

good idea anyway noone wants this IPL thing in India. On the contrary India should send its batsman/bowlers to county cricket to learn the art of swing and playing swing bowling, it was county cricket that resurrected Zaheer as a bowler.

Posted by bala_sachin on (January 4, 2012, 14:29 GMT)

as in football EPL teams play in other countries why not IPL teams play in neighbour country . tha talso would help a cricket nation in good position

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