07 Feb

Two months after the completion of the inaugural edition of the Lanka Premier League (LPL), Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) is yet to recover the rights fee from the event organiser — Innovative Production Group (IPG). 

This is despite SLC having given them a grace period up until the completion of the five-team tournament to settle an outstanding sum of US$ 775,000. Even though the agreement entered by the IPG and SLC requires the right holder to settle rights fee immediately after entering into the five-year deal, they only paid US$ 1 million through a bank guarantee, this too was after several reminders to settle the fee. 

IPG entered into a five-year agreement with a Dubai-based company which in turn agreed to pay a sum of US$ 1,920,000 annually for the first two years of the five-year deal. They agreed to increase it by 10 percent each subsequent year. After deducting the bid collateral, the amount owed by them was US$ 1,775,000. 

Having delayed the payment, IPG, who are also Sri Lanka Cricket’s production partner, suggested recovering it from their television production fees in three equal instalments. SLC Executive Committee has agreed to their proposal which seems the best option, but in the latest development, IPG have asked for a four-year period to settle the outstanding payment. 

After this was presented to the Executive Committee, where SLC President Shammi Silva was absent, it was met with strong resistance from the members. 

“This will be an additional burden to them on top of the annual fee they have to pay, so the members objected to it and decide to put the matter on hold until the next ExCo meeting,” cricket sources said. 

The Lanka Premier League, a franchise based T20 league was held from November 26 to December 16 but the tournament had failed to meet its financial expectations. While four of the franchise teams had owners, the other team was looked after by the IPG who owns the franchise, ground and television rights of the event. 

Cricket officials have been summoned by the COPE — the parliamentary watchdog to answer questions on various irregularities including LPL. 

John Stephenson 


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