The Sundaytimes Sri Lanka

Ranatunga defends Sri Lanka Premier League


Nishantha Ranatunga

Next month’s Sri Lanka Premier League T-20 tournament will go on schedule. According to the secretary of Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC), Nishantha Ranatunga, the tournament has not faced any problems or faced any withdrawals from the franchisees.
Ranatunga said “The tournament will go on as scheduled. We are aware that certain parties are trying to negate the tournament, but, we have received all necessary monies to run the tournament and we have no problem”.

He further added “This tournament is good for our cricket and for the first time our players would get big money by playing a local tournament. Besides that there would be four to five hundred room-nights for the hotels and matches being played at various venues. Besides that even Sri Lanka Cricket stands to make money out of this tournament”Meanwhile an SLC press communiqué stated “Our attention has been drawn to certain press articles which seem to insinuate that the credibility of certain franchisees were questionable.

In view of such concerns expressed, by way of a clarification SLC states, that it has taken all possible precautions to safeguard the integrity of the tournament which will be conducted according to the ICC Code of Conduct, in conformity with the ICC Anti Corruption/Anti Doping guidelines and as well as adhering to the MCC ‘Spirit of Cricket’.

SLC introduced a competitive bidding process in order to ensure transparency and obtain the highest possible value for each franchise. The process itself was successful in that SLC was able to obtain an average price of approximately USD 4.3 Million for each franchise. However, in such a process, since the highest bidder must be awarded the franchise, it is not possible to screen each party prior to the awarding of the Franchise. In the circumstances, SLC laid down stringent safeguards to ensure that all parties who tendered bids for a Franchise met the strict qualification criteria laid down by SLC. Fundamental to the qualification criteria was the condition that any prospective bidder cannot be engaged in gaming and betting activities and that they are required to have sufficient financial resources to meet their commitment to SLC on one hand and to the players on the other hand by providing a Bank Guarantee in favour of SLC to secure the player payments and the franchise consideration.In this regard the Invitation to Tender contained specific requirements that no person would be eligible to submit a bid if they or any person related or connected to them is a person who is not permitted to hold office or be a member of a committee of any national sporting association under the Sports Law.

The Franchise agreement thereafter entered into by the successful bidders also contained clauses by which each of the successful bidders held out that the Franchisee is an entity which is not involved in any activity which is contrary to the Sports Law or to the ICC Rules which also includes gaming and/or betting activities. By entering into the Franchise Agreement each of the Franchisees has undertaken to adhere to the ICC Anti Corruption/Anti Doping Rules as well as the MCC ‘Spirit of Cricket’. In the event of a Franchisee found to be in breach of the obligation set out above, SLC has the right to terminate such franchise agreements.In that light it would be seen that SLC has taken all possible precautions to ensure that the Franchisees are persons who would be mandated to adhere strictly to the guidelines laid down in order to have a successful tournament. In this whole process, what has been fundamental to SLC is to maintain the integrity of the tournament and of the Franchisees themselves.”

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