Modi masterminded Sri Lanka Premier League?

Zeecric Bureau

Mumbai: India’s apex cricketing body BCCI’s debarring of the Indian players from taking part in the Sri Lankan Premier League might de due to its links with former IPL czar Lalit Modi.

BCCI had yesterday given the league a cold shoulder as the event is being organised by a "private party" based in Singapore instead of the island nation`s Cricket Board.

"We took the decision at an informal meeting of 18-20 members held yesterday that no Indian cricketer will be given permission to take part in the league as it is being organised by a private party based in Singapore. The Board`s policy is not to allow players to take part in private party-organised tournaments," BCCI president Shashank Manohar said.

However, things are more complicated as an inside source told a leading newspaper, "We have indications that Modi is behind the Lankan league. A lot of his men who worked in IPL are now involved in managing this league through SEV."

Modi however denied any links with the new league and told the newspaper, "Amazing. What will they come up with next? Imaginations do run wild in BCCI nowadays," he said.

"I really have no idea who is behind it. If there are people working in IPL and are working behind the scenes, then it must be with someone high up with BCCI`s blessing. If I was to be behind a league, then it won`t be just mere speculation. Everyone will know I`m behind it," Modi said.

Manohar said unless the BCCI gives them a No Objection Certificate, Indian players cannot participate in the Lankan Twenty20 league.

"We have to give them permission and we have decided not to give it. We have already informed the Sri Lanka Cricket about it," he elaborated.

The SLPL is to be conducted at the Premadasa Stadium in Colombo from July 19 to August 4 and a dozen Indian cricketers, including Praveen Kumar, Munaf Patel and R Ashwin who were part of the ODI series that ended recently in the West Indies, have shown their interest in taking part in it.

Manohar explained that all rights of the tournament, including signing of players` contracts, are vested with the Singapore-based private entity which he did not name.

The Board had initially decided to give the players the green signal to take part in the tournament as it was thought that the SLC was organising it, but once it found out that a private enterprise in Singapore has been given all the rights, the Board changed its stand.

Manohar said he did not expect the Sri Lanka board to retaliate by refusing permission to the island nation`s players from taking part in the BCCI-owned and run Indian Premier League. "I don`t think so," he said.

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