The proposed ten year deal between Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) and Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is seen as a golden opportunity that will make the Sri Lankan board financially secure, but before the signing of the deal, which will take place during the proposed India-Sri Lanka series, the full details of the agreement need to be made public to weigh in the pros and cons of the agreement.
What is known as for now is that the players contracted to the Indian Cricket League (ICL), a rebel league that runs parallel to the officially sanctioned Indian Premier League (IPL) will not have any association with the board after India has requested the local board to toe the line with BCCI’s stance.
Which effectively means, players such as Marvan Atapattu, Russel Arnold, Upul Chandana, Avishka Gunawardene and Saman Jayantha will have no association with Sri Lankan cricket at all. But the sad part is, some of these players have made a huge contribution to cricket and now having quit international cricket, have made impressive starts in certain fields with one of them taking up coaching and another cricket commentaries.
Although N. Srinivasan, the Secretary of the BCCI told that there were no preconditions in agreeing to send the Indian team down, the clause on ICL players seem to be a done deal with Sports Minister Gamini Lokuge promising SLC’s support to BCCI with regard to the rebel league and Srinivasan responding that the BCCI was pleased that SLC had adopted this stance.
As we noted the other day, there will also be no international cricket allowed to be played during this period and that effectively means that two months of Sri Lanka’s international cricket calendar will be separated for the IPL and Champions League Tournaments run by the Indian board denying any room for international cricket.
When there were talks of the bailout package by the Indian board last October, there were media reports on similar lucrative agreements with other boards. The reports said that the Australian Board was to gain something in the range of 150,000 US$ while the South African board was to gain 120,000 US$ by agreeing to the Indian conditions. So then, why double standards? Indian public would want to watch Jayasuriya, Muralitharan and Mendis as much as Smith, Steyn and Kallis.
Although the BCCI secretary categorically denied the Indian board manipulating internal matters of Sri Lankan cricket to its advantage, the timing of their arrival is an indication that they were working behind the scene to manipulate who should run Sri Lankan cricket.
According to reports, there’s heavy pressure from the government itself to reinstate Arjuna Ranatunga as the Chairman of the Cricket Interim Committee. But forces against Ranatunga were indicating to the government higher-ups that the bail out package is only possible if Ranatunga doesn’t make a comeback.
Sadly, Ranatunga is one of the few to insist on the point that international cricket should take precedence above all else, but the forces that he’s fighting against, which includes a section of powerful players, the Sports Minister and some influential employees of the board itself, he’s only fighting a losing battle.
Mind you the same forces forged together in getting this year’s Test tour to England cancelled so that the players could go and earn their IPL riches
In the last three years, Sri Lanka has defeated three of the leading Test playing nations, South Africa, England and India, who have in turn defeated the world’s best Australia over a period of fours years. If you ask any cricket fan what should be Sri Lankan cricket’s next target, the answer would be to doing everything possible to overthrow Australia and become the world’s best Test playing nation.
There’s more to Test cricket than lucrative financial deals. But sadly, the captain, the CEO and some members of the players’ association do not seem to agree and instead give petty excuses such as playing in England in the early part of the summer.