Sri Lanka Premier League set for August this year Prior to the ICC World Twenty20
Sri Lanka Cricket had originally signed a deal with Somerset Entertainment Ventures to hold the Sri Lanka Premier League (SLPL) in 2011, This new SLPL T/20 had to be cancelled as the BCCI s against sending India players to participate. However it is now learnt that a new deal has been signed with the same “Somerset Entertainment Ventures” on May 5 and the tournament has been tentatively scheduled to be held between August 10 and August 31 just ahead of the ICC World Twenty 20 that has already been scheduled to be held in Sri Lanka during the month of September 2012.
The SLPL was supposed to have taken place in the year 2011, with SLC’s then interim committee signing a five-year deal with “Somerset Entertainment Ventures” to organise the event. However, the Sri Lankan board was forced to postpone the tournament after the BCCI refused to allow its players to participate at the last minute, causing a delay in numerous ways, picking teams which affected the final preparation for the mega event. In addition, the interim committee that signed the deal was subsequently replaced and there was criticism of some of the clauses in the contract by the parliamentary Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE).
A new group of administrators were elected in January and they have been negotiating and finalizing with “Somerset Entertainment Ventures” to resolve all conflicts that existed. The new deal has addressed the concerns that have been raised by the COPE report and they have now been cleared by the office of the Sri Lankan attorney General, ESPN cricinfo learns.
The format of the tournament remains the same as earlier made. SLPL will constitute of seven teams that will play against each other in a manner of a league format followed by the normal semi-finals and finals. The games it appears to be played likely in Colombo and Kandy. Last year’s event was scheduled to get off the blocks on July 19, 2011, with the final scheduled to be played on August 6. The tournament had to meet the first obstacle when the BCCI decided not to grant permission for Indian players to participate part on the grounds that “Somerset Entertainment Ventures”, which owned the commercial rights, would be handling the contracts for international players and that it may lead to conflicts with regard to the security of the payments that were to be paid to the players who were contracted to participate. They had doubts as to whether it would lead to could lead to complications and disputes in regard to payments.
In this regard the SLC gave an assurance to the BCCI that the matter with regard to payments is assured order to assuage the Indian board, SLC was willing to back the Indian players’ contracts so that their financial interests were protected, but that was not sufficient to satisfy the officials of the BCCI. There were also suggestions that former IPL chairman Lalith Modi had a hand in the event, but SLC and “Somerset Entertainment Ventures” authorities over and over again said no and so did Modi. These factors unfortunately caused the cancellation of the SLPL tournament which was planned to be held in July 2011.