Sri Lankan players asked to leave IPL early?

Last Updated: Apr 13, 2011, 11:09 AM IST

Zeecric Bureau

Colombo: Sri Lankan players were asked to head back home from the ongoing Indian Premier League-IV, to participate in team’s practice sessions ahead of next month’s England tour, triggering a club versus country debate.

According to reports, the senior players have been asked to join the national camp by May 5.

Sri Lanka sports minister Mahinadananda Althugamage sent a warning to the players, urging them to prioritise national duties over personal club commitments. Reports added that the step was instigated by the complaint of Sri Lankan ministers over their treatment during the World Cup, where they had to buy the tickets in black -a point that has been refuted by the country’s high commission.

Tom Moody, former coach of Kings XI Punjab, said that the absence of Sri Lankan players from the tourney would be a big problem.

Currently, nine Sri Lankan players are involved in the fourth edition of the Indian Premier League, including senior players Mahela Jayawardene, Kumar Sangakkara, Lasith Malinga and Tillakratne Dilshan. They have been paid a hefty amount by the Indian Premier League franchisees for their participation in the domestic T20 tourney.