NEW DELHI: The Indian cricket board (BCCI) has once again 'rejected' Sri Lanka Cricket's (SLC) appeal to let Indian stars play in the inaugural Sri Lanka Premier League (SLPL), tentatively scheduled to be held in August.
The BCCI feels that if it allows the players to play in the SLPL, it will have to let them appear in T20 leagues organized by other Test-playing nations. Besides, the Indian team has a cramped itinerary in the coming months - it is likely to travel to Sri Lanka for an ODI and T20 series in July. In August, India will host New Zealand for a two-Test series. "They (SLC) did approach us, but we may not be in a position to send our players," a BCCI official told TOI on Thursday.
SLC is hoping to get those Indian cricketers who won't make it to the national team. But as of now, the Indian board's reluctance has poured cold water on the plan. "BCCI is not convinced. But we are going ahead with the league this time," a SLC official said.
The SLPL was set to be launched last year itself but the non-availability of Indian players stymied the event. Then, the BCCI refused to play ball as it suspected former IPL czar Lalit Modi's hand behind the league. The cricket board mandarins believed that the event management company, which owned the commercial rights of the event, had something to do with Modi. This year, the BCCI hasn't taken much time in responding to SLC's overtures unlike last year which eventually led to cancellation of the event.
More than a month back, BCCI president N Srinivasan was quoted as saying that the board would examine a league's structure before giving Indian players the go-ahead. While he was unavailable for comment on Thursday, the board, it seems, is still not convinced.