Sri Lanka Cricket eyes local firms to bankroll premier league

Chandi Dharmaratne

May 15, 2012 (LBO) – Sri Lanka Cricket is targeting several top local companies to invest in a franchise, when bidding for its new premier league Twenty20 tournament opens for auction in a few weeks, officials said. The success of the Indian Premier League (IPL) has led to similar Twenty20 leagues being played in Bangladesh and Australia. In its fifth-edition, IPL combines cricket and entertainment, with television ratings attracting a wide audience.

Attempts to launch the SLPL last July, was aborted midway, after financial powershouse, India barred its players. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) alleged that Somerset had links to the disgraced former IPL chief LalithModi, which Sri Lanka and Modi denied.

The SLPL tournament was to be questioned by the Parliament’s Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE).Dharmadasa said all such controversy regarding the tournament had been cleared by COPE.

Sri Lanka Cricket Secretary Nishantha Ranatunga said the governing body has ironed out issues with India and hoped other foreign cricket boards will also allow their players to feature in the SLPL.

The 24-match tournament comes just weeks ahead of the World Twenty20 tournament which opens in Sri La