If Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) was shocked and angry at the Indian cricket board’s decision not to release its cricketers for the Sri Lanka Premier League (SLPC), it didn’t share it on Sunday.
Instead, reports said the SLC’s interim committee will meet on Monday to discuss the sudden development. "The interim committee will be meeting on Monday to discuss the issue. It is too early to say anything as we have to study the situation," SLC secretary Nishantha Ranatunga told PTI in Colombo.
"This tournament is approved by SLC. And Somerset is the marketing arm, having won the rights through a tender process. Nobody can say it is owned by Somerset," Ranatunga told 'ESPNcricinfo' website.
"We need to explain the matter to the BCCI and whatever the concerns that they have, we need to give them an explanation."
Several attempts to contact him separately throughout Sunday proved futile.
``We will talk about it on Monday," SLC media manager, Brian Thomas, said.
The first SLPC modeled on the Indian Premier League is scheduled between July 19 and August 4 in Colombo.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI)’s decision not to allow 12 players to participate in the SLPC is sure to trigger another round of controversy in its dealing with the SLC.
In end-April, SLC had demanded that its players taking part in the lucrative IPL return to Sri Lanka to prepare for its England series halfway during the T20 tournament. The SLC, however, had to extend its May deadline for the players to return after BCCI threatened not to pay the Lankan cricketers their money. Some of the senior Lankan players including former captains K Sangakkara and M Jayawardene flew to England days before the series began. Their poor performance in the series is being blamed on the fact that they didn’t have enough time to acclimatise to the weather and pitch conditions.
The BCCI’s decision could also dampen financial prospects for SLC which is apparently facing a severe cash crunch. A news report in the Sunday Leader said: "Financially bankrupt SLC is to commission the three forces Army, Navy and Air Force to help it maintain three cricket stadiums – Sooriyawewa, Kettarama and Pallekele."
"SLC has been rocked by allegations of fraud and short-sighted management policies including political interference that has led to its current predicament," the news report said. Ranatunga has denied that the board was facing bankruptcy.