Sri Lanka Twenty20 Premier League to go ahead without Indian players

Colombo, June 27 (ANI): Despite failing to get Indian cricketers, Sri Lanka will go ahead with its inaugural Twenty 20 Premier League with Australian and Pakistani players.

The Sri Lanka's Sports Minister, Mahindananda Aluthgamage said Lankan cricket would lose money because of the absence of Indian players, but the tournament will still be played as planned, The Herald Sun reports.

Fast bowlers Praveen Kumar and Munaf Patel were among 12 Indian players who were stopped by the BCCI from playing in the T20 tournament in Sri Lanka from July 19 to August 4.

The minister said the Indian board's reluctance stemmed from media reports that a Singapore-based company with alleged links to Lalit Modi was organizing the event.

"Mr Modi is not involved in our tournament. But we have to accept India's decision. We remain friends with India," Aluthgamage was quoted as saying by The Herald Sun.

The Singapore-based Somerset Entertainment Ventures, who won the marketing rights for five years, have already paid an advance of almost $300,000 to Sri Lanka Cricket, some media reports said.

It said India's reluctance had led to broadcaster ESPN withdrawing support for the tournament, which will feature seven teams and include a mix of local and international players. (ANI)