SLPL to go ahead- Minister

Sports Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage said today that the controversy-ridden Sri Lankan Premier League (SLPL) will go ahead as scheduled, adding that the ministry has sought the advice of the Attorney General regarding the extension of the franchise owner period to fifteen years instead of the current seven

“The franchise owners have lost over USD 6 million last year alone and it will take around three to four years before their investments mature. The agreement stipulates that the ownership will be confined to seven years since it was not an outright sale of ownership and the owners have raised concerns regarding this,” he said.

Speaking further to Daily Mirror online, Aluthgamage said, “We are currently negotiating with the franchise owners, discussions are underway currently and there is no doubt about the tournament going ahead.”

When asked about the recent controversy surrounding the Indian Premier League with regard to ‘bookie’ involvement, the Minister said that all precautionary measures will be taken to ensure a corruption-free SLPL.

“We will use all possible methods to ensure that we have a clean SLPL. You can’t compare this to the IPL, and just because something happened in India you cannot equate it to what is happening here and the stringent measures we have taken to ensure that nothing of the sort happens,” he said.

The Minister further added that the SLPL had created a plethora of opportunities for the local players which had benefitted them immensely and all these factors were taken into consideration when putting the Ministry’s and Sri Lanka Cricket’s effort behind the league.

Meanwhile speaking to Daily Mirror Online, Tournament Director of the SLPL Ajith Jayasekara confirmed that Sri Lanka Cricket is preparing for tournament scheduled to be held from August 10th to September 7, 2013.

“There is a bit of an issue regarding the period of ownership which was raised by the owners, we submitted these concerns to the Ministry of Sports and they had sought the advice of the Attorney General. We are awaiting their advise, but all preparation is underway to host the tournament,” he said. (By Hafeel Farisz)

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