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Sri Lanka to seal IPL deal in Bangkok

A four-member Sri Lankan delegation led by Sports Ministry secretary S. Liyanagama would take wing to Bangkok, Thailand tonight for high level talks aimed at cementing a proposed deal between Sri Lanka Cricket and Indian Premier League.

The delegation will include SLC Chief Executive Duleep Mendis, SLC Interim Committee member Sidath Wettimuny and Sri Lanka Cricketers Union representative Graeme Labrooy.

IPL chief Lalith Modi had promised SLC a grant of US $ 40 million over the next years for releasing the cricketers for the IPL in discussions he had with Labrooy last week in India and the Sri Lankan delegation to Bangkok would ink the deal officially, sources said.

IPL had proposed the deal to SLC in reciprocation after Sports Minister Gamini Lokuge ordered SLC to release cricketers for the IPL instead of a proposed test tour to England next year.

"Our cricketers and our country can gain more benefits by participating in IPL matches. And therefore we are sending a team of officials to India next week to finalise it," Lokuge told parliament late Friday.

SLC interim chief Arjuna Ranatunga arranged the England tour in a controversial manner that stirred a hornetsí nest as the country leading players threatened to choose honouring their IPL contracts than taking part in an ad-hoc tour that clashed with the dates of the next IPL season.

The deal with the IPL had been initiated and would be sealed in the absence of Ranatunga who was away in Canada for the Al Brakah Cup tournament and then in Dubai for ICC Board meeting.

The meeting would take place in Bangkok as the IPL will host a workshop-cum-meeting for the eight franchise-owners of the Indian Premiere League (IPL) there from October 17 to 19.

The meeting is being held to discuss and approve a plan for the second edition of the IPL next year.

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