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IPL 2021 auction: Kumar Sangakkara reveals why franchises stayed clear of Sri Lanka cricketers

Lancashire v Surrey - County Championship Division One
Lancashire v Surrey - County Championship Division One
Azhar
ANALYST
Modified 22 Feb 2021
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Chris Morris became the most expensive buy in Indian Premier League history after Rajasthan Royals bought him for a whopping Rs. 16.25 crore at the recently-concluded IPL auction.

However, that was not the only piece of history made. For the first time ever, no Sri Lankan player will be part of an IPL season as none of the eight franchises have picked a player from the island nation.

Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene, two Sri Lankan greats, spoke about why franchises have shied away from picking any Sri Lankan talent.

Kumar Sangakkara, Director of Cricket for the Rajasthan Royals, believes the unpredictability of Sri Lanka Cricket's schedule was a major roadblock.

Sri Lanka are due to host Bangladesh for a Test series as part of the World Test Championship in March and that means there could be some clash in the schedule.

"I think there were some fantastic players in that tournament (LPL) and in Sri Lanka, but the crucial thing here is the unpredictability of SLC's tour programme, where it's hard to predict how long players can be available," Sangakkara said during a virtual press conference.
"If they have to leave at some point during the IPL season, it kind of adds a bit of volatility that franchises want to shy away from. That's why you see lack of Sri Lankan players this IPL, definitely not because they don't have the capability," he added.

Mahela Jayawardene has a different take than Sangakkara

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Mumbai Indians' head coach Mahela Jayawardene has a different stance on the matter. He believes that Sri Lankan players didn’t fit the franchises' criteria from a mini-auction point of view.

"It is disappointing and disheartening I think a few guys were on the radar, but it is a difficult place because we are looking at 20-odd slots for overseas players, and the majority of those slots were for the fast bowlers and the all-rounders. Sri Lanka lacks a bit of that," Mahela Jayawardene said.
Published 22 Feb 2021, 07:58 IST
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