Sri Lanka news May 8, 2013

SLC writes to Indian board about early release of IPL players

Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) has written to the BCCI, asking whether some Sri Lanka players could be released early from the ongoing IPL to prepare for next month's Champions trophy in England, according to SLC secretary Nishantha Ranatunga.

The Sri Lanka board had been mulling whether to recall some of the underperforming players - who are not central to their IPL teams' plans at the moment - to allow them to play in a practice series. Now, after formally asking the Indian board, SLC is awaiting a response on the same, Ranatunga said.

"We have written to the BCCI on Monday and are waiting to hear from them whether some of the players can be released to play in the one-day triangular series, which SLC has organised as preparation for the Champions trophy," said Ranatunga. "The BCCI must get through to the respective franchises and then get back to us on whether any of the players selected for England can be released if they are not picked for the IPL matches. We know the players have a contractual obligation to the IPL teams they represent, so it is left to the franchises to make a decision to release them."

Nine of the ten Sri Lankan players playing in the IPL are part of Sri Lanka's 15-member squad for the Champions Trophy. Ajantha Mendis is the only Sri Lankan player in the IPL who is not part of the Champions Trophy squad.

SLC had earlier expressed concerns over the poor form of the Sri Lanka players in the IPL, which has led to some of them being dropped by their teams, and Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews stepping down from the captaincy of Pune Warriors.

Meanwhile, the Sri Lanka board had announced a domestic 50-overs tournament to be played in Pallekele between May 12 and 20. Of the three squads named for the tournament, one included the Sri Lanka team picked for the Champions trophy, minus the IPL players. "If the IPL players are released we will include them instead of the players selected to represent the Sri Lanka team in the triangular," Ranatunga said.

The other two sides in the tournament will be the Sri Lanka A team, also selected to tour the West Indies next month, and a Sri Lanka Combined side.

Lahiru Thirimanne, Dinesh Chandimal, Rangana Herath, Nuwan Kulasekara, Shaminda Eranga and Chanaka Welegedara are the only players from the Champions Trophy squad, who currently figure in the Sri Lanka team named for the triangular series.