The controversy around the Sri Lankan cricketers returning home halfway during the ongoing IPL season four is unlikely to be resolved before next week.
The Board for Control of Cricket in India (BCCI) has requested Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) to allow the players to continue to play the IPL, SLC board secretary, Nishantha Ranatunga told Hindustan Times over phone on Thursday.
"BCCI has made a request. But a decision can only be taken after a meeting of the board’s interim committee and selection committee takes place," he said.
When asked about the content of the request, and whether it requested the SLC to allow the Lankan cricketers continue in IPL, Ranatunga said yes.
But the all important meeting between the committees and the Ministry of Sports will possibly only take place on Monday. It’s literally a week of holidays that Sri Lanka is going through now because of the Sinhala and Tamil New Year. The holidays began from Wednesday and will carry through the week. Ranatunga himself is out of Colombo, he said, adding that he will only be back on Monday. Most selectors and committee were also out of the Capital. Ranatunga said a decision as important as this could not be taken before all decision-makers meet.
"Minister of Sports Mahindananda Aluthgamage has stressed on putting the country before self and has given the players an ultimatum to return to the country before May 5," the Sri Lanka government’s official website, news.lk said on Thursday.
Nearly all of Lanka’s top cricketers, including former captains K Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardena, T Dilshan and M Muralitharan, are playing in the Indian T20 league.
The selection committee chairman, Duleep Mendis, told Hindustan Times that all Lankan cricketers have either been written to or have been informed individually to return before May 5. The national team is expected to leave for England five days later.
But Mendis himself feels that five days will hardly be enough for the team to get together and prepare.
"As of now, that’s the best we can do. (It’s) not enough," Mendis said.
He added that the cricketers might be playing in the IPL but T20 cricket was different.
"It’s totally different. From T20 to 50 overs (cricket) and then test matches; completely different," he added.