Sri Lanka Cricket will refuse no-objection certificates to at least 16 centrally-contracted players seeking to take part in this year’s Bangladesh Premier League, an SLC official has said. The board will instead insist that its cricketers take part in the upcoming Premier Limited Overs (List A) tournament at home. Some of the players who have been bought by BPL franchises may also be required for Sri Lanka’s Test tour of New Zealand, which begins in early December. The BPL runs from November 22 to December 15.
“The centrally-contracted players will not be given permission, because there is a tour of New Zealand for which the players leave on November 27,” SLC cricket operations manager Carlton Bernadus said. “The board has also taken a decision that all the centrally-contracted players who won’t be on that tour should stay back and play in the domestic tournament, which begins on November 20th.”
The move is aimed to protect the quality of the Premier Limited Overs tournament, and to help ensure Sri Lanka’s clubs have their best players available to them throughout the season.
BCB CEO Nizamuddin Chowdhury however said that they are confident the SLC will give the NOCs. “We are confident that SLC will give the NOCs in the next few days,” he told ESPNcricinfo on Monday evening.
The BPL has requested no-objection certificates for 25 Sri Lankan players, but out of those, 17 – including the likes of Lahiru Thirimanne and Sachithra Senanayake – have central contracts.
“Where there are no contracts, players can get permission from their clubs,” Bernardus said. “For example, Dilshan Munaweera is not a contracted player, and the Bloomfield CC president has given him permission – that is fine.”
SLC has focused on raising the quality of its domestic cricket this year, and has increased match fees for domestic games in an attempt to make cricket a more stable source of income for players. With a zonal tournament also in the works for the upcoming season, domestic cricketers’ earning potential has been significantly improved.
“The board has invested in the players,” Bernardus said. “They have enhanced the fees to 7000 rupees per match day. If our domestic cricket is not played properly, where are we going?”
Jeevan Mendis has received special permission from Tamil Union Cricket Club to play in the BPL, but the national selectors, acting on behalf of the board, may still deny him the no-objection certificate, Bernardus said. Mendis is among the 17 centrally-contracted players. (Courtesy ESPN Cricinfo)