South Asia

Sri Lanka Premier League postponed amid cash crisis

Indian cricket team
Image caption Indian players have been prohibited from playing in the Sri Lankan tournament

The launch of Sri Lanka's cricket Premier League, due this month, has been postponed until next year.

Officials said the move was prompted by a financial crisis and because India's cricket board opposed the tournament.

"We are finding it difficult to have the premier league without India's support," Sri Lanka Cricket spokesman Brian Thomas said.

Sri Lanka's cricket board has huge debts after co-hosting this year's World Cup with India and Bangladesh.

Last month it sought financial help from the government and state bank.

In June, India's cricket board refused to let the country's players take part because it said the Sri Lankan league was run by a private company. Sri Lanka cricket officials deny this.

The Sri Lankan Twenty20 tournament, modelled on the Indian Premier League, was due to take place between 19 July and 4 August.

The absence of India's stars meant potentially lucrative Indian broadcasting contracts were lost.

"We can't get into more debt," Mr Thomas said.

Cricket in Sri Lanka is going through rough times.

A week ago, the government dissolved the cricket board and appointed a new one amid claims of corruption and mismanagement.

Earlier this week, former captain Kumar Sangakkara criticised corruption and cronyism in the Sri Lankan game, prompting the sports minister to announce an inquiry into his behaviour.

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