Sri Lanka bids for Kiwi stars for domestic T20 tourney

Monday, 2 July 2012 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

A number of New Zealand’s specialist short-form cricketers are expected to be on the draft list of players to be auctioned for Sri Lanka’s new Twenty20 premier league which debuts from August 10-31.

No New Zealand test players will be available for the Sri Lankan Premier League auction on July 5 and 6. They will be playing two matches in India. The first test starts on August 23 in Hyderabad.

That means the likes of Michael Bates, Andrew Ellis, Ronnie Hira, James Franklin, Tom Latham, Nathan McCullum, Kyle Mills, Rob Nicol, Jacob Oram and Tim Southee (if he’s not back in the test line-up) could come into contention to join the seven franchises that will play six matches in a round-robin format.

Games will be split between Colombo on the coast and Pallekele in the central highlands. Each franchise can have a maximum of 18 players, including six from overseas.

The Herald on Sunday understands the contracts will be worth between $20,000 and $30,000. They have been perused and approved by the New Zealand Cricket Players Association.

The tournament could also work as preparation for the World Twenty20 championship from September 18-October 7.

The hope is players will enter the international tournament acclimatised to local conditions.

The league was recently confirmed after support from Indian companies who bought franchises for prices ranging from $4.1 million-$6.3 million. However, the Indian board is understood to be less keen for its players to participate.