SLC keen to hold IPL games to raise funds

Colombo: Cash-starved Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) has approached the BCCI, showing their interest to hold some Indian Premier League matches in the island country to raise some additional revenue.

SLC`s revenue got a beating when the Sri Lanka Premier League (SLPL) was postponed last year after the BCCI refused to release Indian cricketers for the tournament.

SLC also has been hit hard because of the construction of new stadiums in Pallekele and Hambantota and the renovation of the Premadasa Stadium for last year`s World Cup.

"I feel it (a T20 league) is a needed thing. But I don`t think it is the right time with India having the IPL," the newly-appointed SLC president Upali Dharmadasa told a website.

"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 (IPL) matches in Sri Lanka?"

Pointing out that logistical issues won`t be a problem in hosting IPL matches in Sri Lanka, Dharmadasa said, "Make it a venture.”

"On the whole, they (the BCCI) will help Sri Lanka as a tourist attraction and see that Sri Lanka Cricket comes up."

India were supposed to play a full tour -- three Tests, five ODIs and a T20 game -- in Sri Lanka, but severe shortage of funds have forced the SLC to rejig the proposed series.

India`s tour of Sri Lanka later this year will now comprise three ODIs and as many T20 games and no Test matches.

"I am talking to the TV rights owners, Ten Sports. I am hopeful of raising almost USD 12.5 million," Dharmadasa said.

He said that he was trying to arrange a fourth ODI.

"From a revenue point of view, I would love India to tour Sri Lanka three times a year.”

"Unfortunately, it is not possible. But whenever possible (we would like them to tour)," Dharmadasa said.

The SLPL, scheduled to be held in July last year, had been postponed to August this year because of numerous problems.