SL delays India trip amid T20 row


Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) delayed a meeting with Indian officials over the participation of India’s players in the island’s inaugural Twenty20 competition on Thursday. SLC chairman D. S. de Silva and secretary Nishantha Ranatunga failed to make a scheduled trip to India on Wednesday amid diplomatic moves to defuse the row which was sparked by India’s refusal to allow its players to join the event.
“It’s a very sensitive issue. Sri Lanka is keen not to upset relations with India. Both countries share warm relations and India’s financial clout is key to Sri Lanka cricket future,” an official source said asking to remain anonymous.
Fast bowlers Praveen Kumar and Munaf Patel were among 12 Indian players who had sought permission to play in the Sri Lanka Premier League (SLPL) after the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) had earlier cleared the event.
The BCCI’s U-turn came amid media reports that the SLPL was being organised by Singapore-based Somerset Entertainment Ventures, which allegedly has links with Lalit Modi, the sacked former boss of the Indian Premier League (IPL).
Sri Lanka’s sports minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage was optimistic the issue would be resolved amicably and denied that the London-based Modi was involved with the tournament.
Modi faces criminal charges, including false accounting, and accusations by the BCCI that more than $106 million was misappropriated during his three-year tenure as IPL chairman. Modi also distanced himself from the tournament through his Twitter feed on Monday.