Mahindra & Mahindra Is Title Sponsor Of Sri Lanka Premier League
The inaugural edition of the Sri Lanka Premier League announced it has "roped in" auto maker Mahindra & Mahindra as the title sponsor, according to CRICKETCOUNTRY.com. Mahindra & Mahindra Group Strategy President and Chief Brand Officer S. P. Shukla said, "We as Mahindra Group have accepted the offer to be the title sponsor of Sri Lanka Premier League, which will be played in the T20 format." The auto group, which has been associated with SPL Celtic FC and MotoGP, said that this initiative "marks its entry to cricket" (CRICKETCOUNTRY.com, 8/8). THE HINDU reported that the Mahindra player of the tournament will receive an XUV500 that "will be displayed at the venues" during league play from Aug. 11-31. The winner of the tournament from the seven teams of Basnahira Cricket Dundee, Kandurata Warriors, Nagenahira Nagas, Ruhuna Royals, Uthura Rudras, Uva Next and Wayamba United Squad will advance to the qualifying stage of the Champions League Twenty20 to be played in South Africa (THE HINDU, 8/9).
FOCUS ON PLAYERS: In New Delhi, Firoz Mirza wrote that as the Sri Lanka Cricket Board gets ready to "launch their dream project," the SLPL, the player associations want "steps to ensure that payments are honoured." Former Sri Lanka skipper and ace batsman Aravinda de Silva "insisted on the need of the players having a reasonable guarantee from the franchise holders." De Sliva: "I hope this (non-payment) doesn't happen here in the SLPL for the players' sake. I think the respective boards should try to make sure they get reasonable guarantee from the franchise holders to ensure players get their contracted amount." Federation of Int'l Cricketers' Association CEO Tim May has claimed that "the newly included clause in the players' contract ensures a bank guarantee for their full salaries as a safety net" (HINDUSTANTIMES, 8/8).
INDIAN FAILURE: Tamil News Network's Shailendra Awasthi reported that the SLPL has "failed to get Indian cricketers on board." When asked to explain the irony, Aravinda "struggled to put the issue in perspective." De Silva said, "They have a busy international schedule, and I guess that is why they are not playing in the SLPL. We also didn't have an auction of sorts, but I'm sure the presence of many top international players will make up for that" (TNN, 8/9).