The 12 Indian cricketers who wanted to participate in the Sri Lanka Premier League have been told by the BCCI to not play in the tournament. The directive comes after the players had asked the BCCI for No-Objection Certificates to play in the two-week long Twenty20 competition, starting on July 19. The SLPL will be run by a Singapore-based private company, Somerset Entertainment Ventures, which will issue the player contracts, something the Indian board believes could lead to complications for the players should disputes arise.
The decision, the BCCI said, was taken to protect the players from finding themselves in a tricky situation. "In the IPL the players are contracted by the BCCI, but the SLPL is offering contracts with the event management company," a BCCI official, who attended the tours and fixtures committee meeting on Saturday at which the decision was taken, said. "So, if there is any goof-up, Sri Lanka Cricket cannot be held accountable. As a result, the board [BCCI] would not like to take any chances."
Praveen Kumar, Munaf Patel, Irfan Pathan, Dinesh Karthik, R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Manoj Tiwary, Saurabh Tiwary, Umesh Yadav, Vinay Kumar, Manish Pandey and Paul Valthaty, reportedly, are the 12 Indians who had shown interest in playing the SLPL. The BCCI had earlier stated it had no problems with the proposed league and that Indian players are free to take part, as long as there is no conflict with international or domestic schedule.
The BCCI official also said the decision to prevent Indian participation in the league had nothing to do with the pressure applied by the SLC and the Sri Lankan Sports ministry in April and May to recall top Sri Lankan players participating in the IPL, ahead of Sri Lanka's England tour.
Reportedly, the SLC top brass were caught unawares by the Indian board's decision and called for an emergency committee meeting to discuss it. No SLC official was available for comment.
The SLPL will be played between July 19 and August 4 at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo. Several foreign players including Chris Gayle, Kieron Pollard, Shahid Afridi, Daniel Vettori, Kevin O'Brien and Herschelle Gibbs have already been signed for the tournament.