Sri Lanka invite SLPL franchise bids
The Sri Lanka Cricket Board invited bids to sponsor the seven teams in their IPL-style Twenty20 Premier League amid continued refusal by their Indian counterparts to send their players which forced the postponement of the event last year.
The cash-strapped Sri Lanka Cricket Board are offering private individuals or corporate bodies the opportunity to be a part of the "world's newest and most exciting Twenty20 league," they said in a statement.
They plan to lease out all the teams for seven years for the SLPL tournament which begins in August.
The bids are invited until June 25 and an individual or corporate body will be allowed to bid for three teams but win only one.
The controversial first SLPL, which was scheduled to be held in 2011, was postponed following the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) refusing to allow Indian cricketers to participate.
Sri Lanka Cricket is facing heavy criticism for giving the little-known Singapore-based Somerset Entertainment Ventures, which the BCCI has accused of having links with former IPL head Lalit Modi, rights to organise the event for 15 years.
Indian media reported that the BCCI has once again 'rejected' Sri Lanka Cricket's appeal to release the Indian players but Sri Lanka Cricket says it has not received any official confirmation.
"We sent invitations to all the full member countries asking them to release their players for the SLPL. Several have responded favourably but not India so far," Nishantha Ranatunga, Sri Lanka Cricket secretary, told Reuters.
"Even if Indian players fail to turn up this time we will go ahead with the event," he said.