Island Cricket

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Mutiny on board Sri Lanka Cricket

By Hilal

One of the plus points of the IPL T20 were the riches on offer; International cricketers were given lucrative pay packages to play during off season. Sri Lankan cricketers earned wages on par with other prominent international sportsman.

The IPL's second season and a hastily planned tour to England in 2009 is on a collision course, there is talk of players contemplating retirement to honour their IPL contracts.

In a new twist to the tale Arjuna Ranatunga in an interview with the Observer appears to call talks of retirement bluff.

“As far as Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) is concerned we will not change our decision to send the Sri Lanka team to play in England. We have signed an MOU with England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) and we have to honour that,” said Ranatunga

They need to sign a two-year contract with the ICC and SLC even if they are to retire and go to the IPL,” contended Ranatunga.

The players with current IPL contracts are Mahela Jayawardene, Sanath Jayasuriya, Kumar Sangakkara, Muttiah Muralidaran, Chaminda Vaas, Dilhara Fernando, T.M. Dilshan and Ajantha Mendis.

In recent times Andrew Symonds who is embroiled in a disciplinary issue with Cricket Australia also threatened to call quits to his career to concentrate on the IPL.

The Indian Premier League commissioner Lalit Modi's statement to the Sydney Morning Herald has not only squashed Symonds' plans but it has also squashed the plans of the Sri Lankan Cricketers who utilised retirement as a bargaining tool.

"I would advise him to stay on with his country. It's very important to be playing for your country," Modi told the Herald.

"We need players who are playing international cricket. We don't need a whole bunch of retired cricketers in the tournament. Cricket Australia has the right to refuse that he plays in the IPL for two years after retirement."

Ranatunga also insists that the media has distorted the facts and claims President Rajapakse never demanded the players be allowed to play in the IPL over an official tour to England.

That was a wrong information. The President never asked us to cancel the England tour and let the players go for the IPL.

What the President told me was to try to make a shift so that they could play in both,” Ranatunga told the Sunday Observer.



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