IPL signs 8 current Lankan cricketers
The Indian Premier League, the ambitious cash-rich Twenty20 venture launched by the BCCI, on Monday announced the signing of eight current Sri Lankan cricketers, including captain Mahela Jayawardene and spin wizard Muthiah Muralitharan, for its inaugural edition.
Barely three days after the rebel Indian Cricket League (ICL) released its second list of 18 players, the IPL responded by coming out with the names of its first high-profile signings, intensifying the recruitment battle between the two rival groups.
Apart from Jayawardane and Muralitharan, Sanath Jayasuriya, wicketkeeper-batsman Kumar Sangakkara, pacemen Lasith Malinga, Nuwan Zoysa, Farveez Maharoof and Dilhara Fernando were the other players to play in the inaugural season.
The IPL had already roped in the likes of spin great Shane Warne, former New Zealand captain Stephen Fleming and Aussie speedster Glen McGrath for the Twenty20 tournament, seen as a counter to the Subhash-Chandra owned Essel Group's breakaway League.
Lalit Modi, chairman and commissioner of IPL said, "We at the IPL are committed to enticing an entire new generation of sports fans into the grounds by showcasing some of the best cricketing talent on offer from the world over."
"It is in line with this philosophy that we have signed eight of the current Sri Lankan squad. We are also in talks with some of the finest players in the international cricketing arena. I promise Indian fans that the IPL will truly be one of the finest cricketing leagues anywhere in the world," he said.