Sri Lanka mull cancelling their Twenty20 league

Sri Lanka Cricket officials will decide if they should cancel the SLPL altogether or cancel this year's tournament and continue from 2014

Updated: July 17, 2013 18:56 IST
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Colombo: Sri Lanka's cricket authorities will decide later on Wednesday whether to scrap their Twenty20 league after all franchise holders defaulted on payments for the tournament, officials said.

A meeting of Sri Lankan Cricket (SLC) officials was underway in Colombo over the future of the tournament, which is scheduled to start in August this year.

Officials said all seven franchises for the Sri Lankan Premier League (SLPL) were held by Indian companies. But they had failed to meet several deadlines to pay nearly three million dollars.

SLC officials will decide "if they should cancel the SLPL altogether or cancel this year's tournament and continue from 2014", its spokesman Rajith Fernando told AFP.

An SLC source said the franchise holders initially agreed to pay a total of $30.49 million spread over seven years but had failed to pay their annual dues for this year by last Sunday's deadline.

It is unclear why the franchise owners have not made payments, and their financial status is not public knowledge. SLC officials have only said that the franchises are all owned by Indian companies.

"What is recommended is to terminate the contracts and start with a new model from next year," one source said.

He said the franchise holders had also failed to come up with bank guarantees to underwrite match fees for players.

Sri Lanka played its inaugural Twenty20 last August with a handful of big-name foreign players, including Chris Gayle from the West Indies and Pakistan's Shahid Afridi.

The tournament, modelled on the financially lucrative Indian Premier League, made a profit of about $2.2 million for the SLC last year, officials said.

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