SL recall players from IPL

COLOMBO - Sri Lanka's sports authorities on Tuesday ordered its cricketers playing in the ongoing Indian Premier League to return home for training ahead of next month's tour of England.

Sports Minister Mahinadananda Althugamage said he wanted team members to prioritise the national side over the IPL, which is financially lucrative for players. "In future, national cricket players can participate in foreign tournaments only in a manner that will not affect practices of the Sri Lankan national team," the ministry said in a statement.

It said those who are selected for the three-Test series in England will have to return home for practices despite their commitments in the ongoing IPL Twenty20 tournament. Former skipper Kumar Sangakkara and his deputy Mahela Jayawardene are among 11 Sri Lankan national players in the IPL and at least five of them are tipped to be included in the squad for England. The statement did not say how the players will be penalised if they did not attend practices as required under a new sports ministry decree, but official sources said they were likely to be dropped if they did not comply.