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21 May 2024

Sri Lanka 'wants to host IPL matches'

Sri Lanka captain Tillakaratne Dilshan playing his trademark shot during the IPL T20 tournament in India. (FILE)


Sri Lanka is in negotiations to host Indian Premier League (IPL) matches to raise money for its financially-strapped cricket board, the Cricinfo website reported on Wednesday.

Upali Dharmadasa, the newly-elected president of Sri Lanka Cricket, told the website he had approached the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to schedule some of the glitzy Twenty20 league's games on the island.

"I would request the Indian board, and we have already started talking, why not play a couple of matches in Sri Lanka?," Dharmadasa was quoted as saying by Cricinfo.

Dharmadasa said the short distances between India and Sri Lanka would not pose any scheduling problems.

"Make it a venture," he said. "On the whole, they (the BCCI) will help Sri Lanka as a tourist attraction and see that Sri Lanka Cricket comes up."

The Sri Lanka board has debts of around $70 million after building two new stadiums in Pallekele and Hambantota and renovating the Premadasa Stadium in Colombo for the 2011 World Cup.

To raise funds, Dharmadasa has also asked India to play only one-day and Twenty20 games on their tour of Sri Lanka in July, instead of the three Tests originally scheduled.

Dharmadasa said he had told BCCI president N. Srinivasan that limited-overs matches would be more financially beneficial to Sri Lanka.

"I am hopeful of raising almost US$12.5 million," Dharmadasa said. "From a revenue point of view, I would love India to tour Sri Lanka three times a year. Unfortunately, it is not possible."

The next edition of the IPL will be played from April 4 to May 27.