The expected meeting between Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) and the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) over extending the stay of Sri Lanka players in the Indian Premier League beyond May 5 did not take place on Monday. According to BCCI secretary, N Srinivasan, no such meeting was scheduled.
“There is no meeting between the two boards, I don’t know from where this news originated. They had written to me and I have replied, that’s it,” Srinivasan told Hindustan Times.
According to a tweet by former IPL boss, Lalit Modi, the reason behind the Sri Lankan board’s decision to call back its players could be due to the pressure applied by their senior ministers. Modi has pasted the link of the news article from a Sri Lankan Sunday newspaper on his Twitter account.
The report mentions that the Sri Lankan ministers were upset at the shabby treatment meted out to them and their family members at the World Cup final in Mumbai on April 2 and that sports minister, Mahindananda Aluthgamage, would lodge an official complaint with the International Cricket Council.
Ministry spokesman, Harsha Abeykoon, is attributed as saying that the Lankan ministers had to buy tickets from the black market and had to stand in a queue for hours to get inside the stadium. He said the ministers were not happy with the seating arrangement as they had to watch the final from different enclosures instead of sitting with President, Mahinda Rajapakse. As many as 20 ministers and deputies had come to Mumbai for the World Cup final.
‘Too many requests’
Meanwhile, a BCCI source said they had not received any complaint and that it was not possible to accommodate all the Lankan VIPs at the last minute. “If two days before the match you come up with a request for 100 seats in the main pavilion, how can it be done? We did manage to accommodate all their ministers,” he said.
Though under pressure from the IPL franchises, who will be hit by the departure of the Sri Lankan recruits, the BCCI is not sweating over the issue. They know if the Sri Lankan board doesn’t cooperate, the BCCI will get an opportunity to get even by not obliging the Lankans for a bilateral series.
The Sri Lankan board depends heavily on the revenue from series against India. The two Boards have an understanding under which India will try to help the southern neighbours whenever a window is available.