|Posted by anccricket on July 10, 2011 at 4:04 AM|
If ever there needed yet another evidence of the clout of the BCCI, their decision not to send the Indian cricketers fro the Sri Lankan Premier League has put Sri Lanka’s Twenty20 tournament a la the IPL in jeopardy, deferring it by a year.
2011 was supposed to the year of the inaugural SLPL. Everything appeared to be going according to plan as Sri Lanka cricket set about making preparations to host its event a la the Indian Premier League with foreigners cricketers finding a spot in the team composition as well. Even big league players had been signed on.
However, at the eleventh hour, the BCCI pulled out on its commitment to give the Indian cricketers the NOC ( No Objection Certificate) on the grounds that they suspected that Lalit Modi was behind the Somerset entertainment ventures that was taking care of the SLPL. The withdrawal of the Indian cricketers was obviously a huge dent in the relations between the SLC and the BCCI after the former were forced to release their players at the cost of a tour match in Sri Lanka’s series against England. If Sri Lanka expected BCCI to come to their hour of need as they coped with their post ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 debt, none was forthcoming as the BCCI refused to budge from its stance despite assurances made round.
Eventually the SLC decided that the SLPL would go ahead as planned despite the absence of the Indian cricketers affected their search for a broadcaster. However, the dissolution of the SLC committee last week further compounded problems, to the extent that the SLPL appeared to be in major jeopardy after the shake up in the Sri Lankan cricket administration over allegations of financial irregularities.
The SLPL, featuring foreign cricketers, in a format much like the Indian Premier League but with fewer teams and spanning a much shorter format, was expected to usher in another revenue avenue for Sri Lankan cricket, alleviating some of the woes that emanated from Sri Lanka hosting the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 jointly with India and Bangladesh. The refurbished stadia cost Sri Lanka heavily and with their inability to recover the costs, the Sri Lankan cricket administration reported heavily losses and subsequently, huge debts.
Sri Lanka cricket had hoped that the SLPL would serve Sri Lankan cricket on similar terms as the IPL has for the BCCI, although obviously not quite to the same extent. The Sri Lankan Premier League was all but ready to get underway before the BCCI raised objections about the ownership of the league although the SLC stepped in to state that the Sri Lankan cricket board was the sole authority on the tournament and that it had the blessing of the ICC. However, it was not enough for the BCCI suspicious with the sniff of the former IPL chairman and commissioner in the air.
The fact that BCCI is a critical factor in the success of their neighbours is evident in that had the Indian cricketers featured, the interests from the sub continent would have not only increased multifold but would have attracted broadcasters, sponsors and much needed revenue for Sri Lankan cricket. However, with the issue of the Indian cricketers’ participation becoming redundant and the absence of a broadcaster have meant that Sri Lankan cricket would have to pay heavily out of their pocket.
While there were earlier suggestions that the Sri Lankan Premier League would even go ahead without the foreign players, the ultimate decision in light of recent events has been to stick with the status quo of a domestic Twenty20 tournament with the winner getting the opportunity to play in the Champions League Twenty20 2011 while the SLPL would now be slated for a launch in late 2012.