Sri Lanka plans Twenty20 league with foreign players

Aravinda de Silva, Sri Lanka's new chairman of selectors, at a press conference ESPNcricinfo Ltd

Sri Lanka Cricket is planning to revamp its domestic Twenty20 tournament by allowing foreign players to participate, Aravinda de Silva, the board's newly-appointed chief selector has said. The move was also an attempt to attract overseas sponsorship, he added.

"This (new) Inter-Provincial League will create opportunities for players, spectators and viewers and raise scope for foreign advertisers to reach a much wider audience," de Silva was quoted as saying by AFP.

The current Inter-Provincial Twenty20 tournament in Sri Lanka comprises six teams, with Wayamba the reigning champions. In 2008, the governing body for rugby in Sri Lanka allowed foreign players to feature in domestic competitions.

de Silva admitted the move to include foreign players was part of the trend set in motion by the IPL. "With IPL, the Twenty20 format went a step further," he said. "Just when Test cricket was sagging, IPL was formed three years back. The whole dynamics changed. Boundaries were cleared and players were merged from across the globe to form teams.

"Viewers now have short attention spans. They want to see quick results," de Silva said. Sri Lanka Cricket is expected to announce the new structure soon.