Indian league storm set to hit Sri Lanka

Susantha Ratnayake, Chairman, BOI formally presents the Certificate of Registration to Indra Silva, Chairman, Indra Hotels and Resorts Kandy (Pvt) Ltd

July 29, 2007 (AFP) – A multi-million-dollar rebel league in India seems set to take Sri Lankan cricket by storm with several top players approached to join the lucrative series, sources said on Sunday. The Indian Cricket League (ICL), promoted by the country’s largest listed media group Zee Telefilms, features six teams playing Twenty20 matches across India.

Each team in the league, which has not been recognised by the International Cricket Council or the Board of Control for Cricket in India, will have four international players, two Indian stars and eight up-and-coming players.

Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) sources said several players were privately approached by agents during the recent series here with Bangladesh but that the SLC would not allow any contracted players to join the rebel league.

“If they go ahead and join the league the result would be similar to the 1982 rebel tour to South Africa,” an SLC source said.

Fourteen Sri Lankan cricketers led by Bandula Warnapura were banned for 25 years in 1982 for taking part in the South African series.

But press reports here said that the recently retired Russel Arnold has accepted the offer and is negotiating with the ICL.