Colombo: Duleep Mendis, Chief Executive of Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) and Chairman of the Selection Committee, has said that the England-bound Sri Lankan players were always scheduled to return home from the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) on May 5.
Mendis confirmed that the decision was taken even before the World Cup, and was not influenced by the statement issued by Sports Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage.
"The Board wanted the IPL players to return on May 5. This was decided a long time ago. I am not sure why it's raising eyebrows now, because everyone already knew about this," the former skipper told MiD DAY.
"It is not because of the Sports Minister's statement.
"It's because the team is scheduled to leave for the UK on May 10. We are organising a five-day preparatory camp in Colombo before their departure."
Is there a cold war brewing between the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and SLC?
The statement came just days after Aluthgamage's remark that BCCI wasn't hospitable enough towards Sri Lankan ministers who flew to Mumbai to watch the World Cup final. Mendis said it was an unnecessary controversy. "India and Sri Lanka share a healthy relationship. BCCI has been very co-operative, and will understand the reason for our players to return before the IPL ends," he said.
Little known Paul Valthaty slammed an incredible century to lead Kings XI Punjab to the biggest successful chase of the Indian Premier League.