Sri Lanka stars join Twenty20 league in India

NEW DELHI, Oct 1, 2007 (AFP) – Ace Sri Lankan spinner Muttiah Muralitharan and skipper Mahela Jayawardene have signed up for the new Twenty20 league in India next year, the cricket board said Monday. The two stalwarts head a list of eight Sri Lankan players who have penned deals with the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to play in the Indian Premier League (IPL), vice-president Lalit Modi said in a statement.

Kumar Sangakkara, Sanath Jayasuriya, Lasith Malinga, Nuwan Zoysa, Farveez Maharoof and Dilhara Fernando complete the elite list.

The IPL, a Twenty20 competition to be held in India in April next year, offers three million dollars in prize money and will have eight teams to be bought by franchisees.

The top two sides would make it to an international Champions Twenty20 League to be played at an as yet undecided venue in October next year.

The IPL enjoys the backing of the International Cricket Council as against the rival Indian Cricket League, bankrolled by media baron Subhash Chandra.

“We at the IPL are committed to entice an entire new generation of sports fans into the grounds by showcasing some of the best cricketing talent on offer from the world over,”