Sri Lanka Premier League 2012 June 13, 2012

Sri Lanka Premier League adopts franchise model


The Sri Lanka Premier League has undergone a significant structural change, adopting a franchise system, with teams coming under private ownership instead of the SLC's control, and a draft system for those franchises to pick their players. The changes were announced on Wednesday by Sri Lanka Cricket, which also started the tender process for the franchise system. The SLC would have owned all seven teams had the tournament gone ahead as planned in 2011, but ESPNcricinfo understands that private commercial interest in owning teams has led the board to change its stance.

The reserve price for the franchises has been set at $3 million. The teams will be leased for an initial period of seven years, following which the franchisees will need to sign a fresh agreement but will have the first right of refusal. Those interested in owning a franchise will be allowed to bid for up to three teams. The tender process closes on June 25 and the bids will be opened the same day and the teams awarded to the highest bidders.

Under the original system, SLC would have assigned players to each team. However, given private ownership of the teams, there will now be a draft along the lines of the one held by the National Basketball Association in the United States. In the first year, a lottery will be held to determine the order in which players are picked. SLC will determine the value of the contract for each player in advance and the franchises will be made aware of the cost of the player. The players are likely to be drafted in two groups - the first consisting of players from Sri Lanka and the second all the foreign players. The draft is being seen as the best way to ensure that players are evenly distributed among the teams, making it a level playing field.

The seven provinces that will form teams are Basnahira, Kandurata, Nagenahira, Ruhuna, Uthura, Uva and Wayamaba. Each franchise will have an icon player, two of whom will be foreign players, and teams will be allowed a maximum of 18 players, out of which six can be foreign players.

Teams will be allowed play a maximum of four foreign players per game. Out of the remaining seven players in the XI, one must be a Sri Lanka Under-21 international.

SLC had signed a new deal with Somerset Entertainment Ventures to hold the league on May 5. Initially, the SLPL was supposed to kick off last year, with SLC's then interim committee signing a five-year deal with Somerset Entertainment Ventures to organise the event. However, the Sri Lankan board was forced to postpone the tournament after the BCCI refused to allow its players to participate at the last minute, causing a delay in the naming of the final composition of the teams and affecting overall preparations for the event. In addition, the interim committee that signed the deal was subsequently replaced and there was criticism of some of the clauses in the contract by the parliamentary Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE), prompting a new deal to be drawn up.

Tariq Engineer is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Samapth on June 16, 2012, 7:27 GMT

    If we assume the icon players are the captains of their teams....I must say again...commady of errors done by SLC ...Lasith Maliga ..who has not even captained his club NCC..named as a cpatain.2.Foreign players are going to be appointed as captains......Wer is the future Sri Lankan Captain Angelo Mathews.....Chairman of SLC ..Can you answer this????????????

  • Ross on June 15, 2012, 8:57 GMT

    What is the point of the 'icon players'? Also while I am a huge fan of Kumar Sangakkara and he is clearly one of the batsmen in the world, I am not convinced of his ability in T20 cricket...

  • YOGENDRA on June 15, 2012, 2:27 GMT

    Sinhababu, you are funny, man. Isn't that the way the world works??

  • Dummy4 on June 14, 2012, 16:17 GMT

    sachin & gilly non other of them

  • Deepak on June 14, 2012, 15:27 GMT

    @bmoizuddin - I think they have a second name like Wayamba Wolves and Kandurata Kites :D

  • SOORAJ on June 14, 2012, 13:25 GMT

    pak pool will likely to be umar akmal,gul,ajmal,sohail tanvir&afridi!

  • Dummy4 on June 14, 2012, 12:13 GMT

    is there is any rules to fix international players as an icon?what are you going to do for methews, why he can't be an icon player?

  • Sinha on June 14, 2012, 12:00 GMT

    Looks like Sri Lankan cricket is also about to go down the same path as Indian cricket. Luckily there isn't nearly enough money in SL for it to pose a huge problem. The vultures in SLC and their political masters will bag most of the profits anyway.

  • Dummy4 on June 14, 2012, 11:59 GMT

    chris gayle and shahid afridi should be the other two players!

  • Baba on June 14, 2012, 10:11 GMT

    all is fine .. just a small suggestion only if the SLPL likes it or not... they have to change the names of the teams.. atleast add second name to the existing names..

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