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Dhaka Tribune

SLC finally releases Dilshan and six more for BPL

Update : 18 Nov 2015, 07:09 PM

Sri Lanka Cricket took a u-turn from its previous stance and agreed to release seven of its high-profile cricketers to play in the third Bangladesh Premier League. It was understood that the decision was taken in order to maintain a good relationship between the two cricket bodies - SLC and the Bangladesh Cricket Board.

As a result, SLC pushed back its domestic one-day tournament by a week. It was also learned that the decision might have come because the SLC also want foreign cricketers, including Bangladeshis, to participate in its own Elite Championship Twenty20 in January.

SLC said the inaugural Elite Championship T20 would appear more attractive to sponsors and broadcasters if two foreigners featured in each of the five teams. Given the current international schedule and the money that is likely to be on offer, SLC believes cricketers from Pakistan and Bangladesh are most likely to be drawn by the Elite Championship T20.

Jeevan Mendis, Ajantha Mendis, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Chamara Kapugedera, Thisara Perera, Sachithra Senanayake and Seekkuge Prasanna are the seven players who obtained the No Objection Certificate.

Earlier last week, SLC opposed issuing NOCs to its centrally-contracted players largely because their absence would have diluted the quality of the forthcoming Premier Limited Over Tournament. That tournament was originally scheduled to begin tomorrow, but it now appears likely to be put off until around November 27, thanks to prevailing bad weather in Colombo.

As the BPL runs from this Sunday to December 15, the cricketers leaving to Bangladesh will miss several rounds of the Premier Limited Over Tournament in any case. However, SLC officials said the home clubs had agreed to release these seven centrally-contracted players, and some players themselves had made appeals to be allowed to play in the BPL. The players had argued that BPL experience would stand them in good stead come the Asia Cup in February next year, which will also be played in Bangladesh. All seven players released are likely to be in contention for Sri Lanka's Asia Cup squad, and indeed the 2016 ICC World T20 to follow.

In addition to the seven centrally-contracted players, two other Sri Lankans had already been confirmed in the BPL - Kumar Sangakkara, who had been awarded a central contract but is now retired from international cricket, and Dilshan Munaweera, who does not have a central contract. 

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