Sri Lanka orders IPL players back home | Sri Lanka orders Indian Premier League players back home
Sri Lanka orders IPL players back home: The club versus country row has flared up again. Sri Lankan cricketers who are involved in the fourth edition of the Indian Premier League have been ordered back home for training ahead of next month’s tour of England. Sri Lanka will be touring the UK for a 63-day tour involving three Tests and five ODIs in England and an ODI each against Scotland and Ireland in Edinburgh.
Sports minister Mahinadananda Althugamage said he wanted team members to prioritize the national side over the IPL. “In future, national cricket players can participate in foreign tournaments only in a manner that will not affect practices of the Sri Lankan national team,” the ministry said.
Eleven Lankan players are involved in the IPL at the moment, including two captains – Kumar Sangakkara (Deccan Chargers) and Mahela Jayawardene (Kochi Tuskers Kerala).
“All the players will have to report to Colombo by May 5. That is when we start the camp for the England tour. The team will depart for England on May 11,” DS De Silva, chairman of Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC), told TOI from Colombo.
SLC secretary Nishantha Ranatunga, brother of 1996 World Cup winning skipper Arjuna, too confirmed the development. “The conditions in England will be completely different to those that prevail in Lanka. The selectors have issued a directive to have the players ready for the camp by May 5. The team for England will be selected in a week’s time. All those selected will have to be here,” he told TOI.
When asked if the players were aware, Ranatunga said, “Yes, they have been kept in the loop.” To the more tricky question as to whether the players were happy or not to forgo the greenbacks for the matches they will miss, Ranatunga was more guarded. “I don’t know if they are happy or not. In any case they have to be here.” He also denied that SLC and the players were on a collision course and played down the possibility of action being taken on the players who will miss the camp. “I’m sure they will toe the line,” was his terse reply.
Former IPL commissioner Lalit Modi had been clamouring hard for a separate window for IPL, a sentiment echoed by Rajasthan Royals skipper and former Aussie leg-spin legend Shane Warne to save the players the dilemma of choosing between club and country. This latest episode highlights the need for it even more. Timesofindia