CHENNAI: Soon after BCCI postponed IPL till further notice last week, Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) expressed its desire to host the event. SLC, however, has not yet officially spoken to its Indian counterpart and has been waiting for the opportune time to make a move.
“No, not yet,” SLC secretary Mohan de Silva told this daily when enquired about whether the board has made an offer to BCCI. “It was just a thought amongst the SLC committee members,” he added.The 13th edition of the league was originally scheduled from March 29 to May 24, but was postponed until April 15 due to the pandemic. With the Indian government extending lockdown till at least May 3, the tournament was then postponed indefinitely.
De Silva believes the island nation will be in better condition to organise the cash-rich league when normalcy returns. “Sri Lanka as a country has taken some good measures to contain the virus from spreading. Therefore God willing, we will know where we stand during the next couple of weeks. If the situation is brought under control, we will have to get the blessings of the government and of course the health authorities before we make a formal offer (to BCCI),” the office-bearer said.
Earlier, SLC president Shammi Silva had stated that the country will be clear of the pandemic before India.
“If the Indian board does agree to play the tournament here, we are ready to provide facilities in line with the requirements and recommendations of medical professionals. It would be a substantial source of income for Sri Lankan cricket as well,” the SLC president was quoted as saying.
However, speaking on the immediate future, De Silva preferred to be cautious. “It’s a little premature to predict anything given the situation across the globe.”The lucrative league has been held overseas twice in the past due to general elections in the country. The second edition in 2009 was held in South Africa, while the first half of the 2014 IPL was played in the UAE.
Meanwhile, amid the lockdown, coach Mickey Arthur has given customised home training regimes to the Sri Lankan players so that they can stay fit for upcoming tournaments like the T20 World Cup later this year. The South African has been sending out exercises to each player depending on their strengths and weaknesses. De Silva also expressed satisfaction over players’ training regimes. “The players are coping up well with the lockdown given their fitness programmes,” he signed off.