The Sri Lankan cricket board has requested the BCCI to allow the country to host a few Indian Premier League games in their country. The board has admitted that the main reason for the request is to raise funds after Sri Lankan cricket was mired in debt for some time now.
SLC president, Upali Dharmadasa, who was recently elected to his post said that while it will be difficult for the Sri Lanka Premier League to take off given BCCI’s reluctance to send their players for the tournament, this could be a decent way for the board to earn some revenues.
The earlier planned, India’s Test match tour by of Sri Lanka has now been changed to three ODIs and three T20Is as means to raise funds. The board spent millions in building new stadiums for the World Cup at Pallekele and Hambantota, which left them in a difficult financial situation.
Most Sri Lankan players had not been paid their salaries for months till about some days ago.
Speaking to a cricket website, Dharmadasa said that while the SLPL was a requirement, it was probably not the right time to kick-start it. He added, “With most of our players going and playing there and the countries being so close, I would request the Indian board, and we have already started talking, why not play a couple of matches in Sri Lanka?”
It now remains to be seen whether the IPL will accede to the request.
The Chennai Super Kings team in the IPL, because of its geographical proximity to Sri Lanka, has its own following in the country. More so also because Sri Lanka’s favourite son Muthiah Muralitharan is a part of the Super Kings side. If the BCCI do decide to go ahead with the proposal, it may not be a bad idea to have a few Chennai games being played there.