15, May 2012 (Cricturf): Sri Lanka Cricket today (14th May 2012) held a media briefing to officially announce the launch of the much talked about, looked forward and controversial “Sri Lanka Premier League 2012” Tournament. The tournament which is set to start on the 10th of August 2012 will consist of 24 Matches and will be played at Colombo R.Premadasa Stadium and the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium in Kandy. President of Sri Lanka Cricket Mr.Upali Dharmadasa heading the press briefing today officially announced the launch of the tournament.
Sri Lanka Premier League (SLPL), which was set to kick start in June last year, was postponed after various hurdles obstructed the start of the tournament of which the BCCI pulling the plug on the permissions given to Indian players to participate making quite an impact. SLPL which is organized in association with Singapore based Somerset Entertainment Ventures (Singapore) Pte. Ltd. Came under heavy criticism by the relevant parties after some clauses mentioned in the agreement where of serious concern which then ended up being investigated by the Parliamentary Committee on Public Enterprise (COPE). The deal which was originally signed back in 2010 by the then Interim Committee of Sri Lanka Cricket was then taken up by the current executive committee of Sri Lanka Cricket which was elected in January 2012 headed by Mr.Upali Dharmadasa and discussions were held between SLC, COPE, Somerset Entertainment and other legal institutions and was then amended according to suggestions and has now been approved to be taken forward said Mr.Dharmadasa when the media questioned on what happened over the last year with regard to the SLPL.
When further questioned by media, Mr.Dharmadasa further went on to say that of the main responsibilities that Somerset Entertainment would hold according to the new deal are the Broadcasting rights of all matches played in the tournament as well as the marketing and promotions with regard to the tournament. He also went on to say that SLC would pay a sum of US$ 300,000 this year with a 10% increase every year until the agreement expires in 2018. SLC will bear the expenses of hosting the tournament while all other expenses would be borne by Somerset Entertainment.
One of the main reasons for BCCI pulling the plug on their players last year was the signing of contracts with a third party and not directly with the board for which Mr.Dharmadasa went on to say that it has been decided that the contracts would now be signed by SLC, Somerset and the relevant players making it a 3 way agreement benefiting all parties.
With regard to the Selection of Players and the Sale ownership of Teams, Secretary of SLC Mr.Nishantha Ranathunga mentioned that selection of players will be done in two ways. And that is if a particular team is bought over by anyone, the owner of the team will retain the right for team selection while if the team is not bought, the SLC would be doing the selections for the teams. 6 Overseas players are allowed per team while only 4 would be allowed in the Playing XI and from the rest of the 7 players, one player should be a Sri Lanka U21 player which he said would help bring out young players in the country.
Mr.Ranatunga also went on to say that the SLC have contacted all Cricket Governing Boards and have received some positive responses including the BCCI and he said he hopes to announce the names of the foreign players who are likely to participate in the tournament within the next few weeks as per how discussions with the relevant authorities go.
The press briefing came to a close with the representatives from Somerset Entertainment Ventures who were present at the media briefing announcing to the media that they would hold a separate media briefing within the next 10 days to clarify the details regarding their role in the tournament and other matters related to them.
CEO of SLC Mr.Ajit Jayasekara and SLC Lawyer Mr.Harsha Abeysekara were also present at the press briefing. SLC Secretary Mr.Ranatunga also promised the media present today that they would hold another press briefing very soon when other matters related to the SLPL are finalized.
(c) CRiCTURF | Ahamed Nishadh