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Top players approached for SL league

COLOMBO: Sri Lanka Cricket is organising a Twenty20 league in July and August 2011 featuring their top players as well as internationals from India, Australia, Pakistan, West Indies and South Africa. The tournament, which will have five regional teams led by senior Sri Lankan cricketers, is the latest in a series of Twenty20 leagues, with some degree of international participation, that have been created over the past few years.

The league will be run by a Singapore-based company, which won the organisational rights and is now looking at securing a TV deal. It is understood to have approached around 35 international players including Yuvraj Singh, Kieron Pollard, Chris Gayle, Yusuf Pathan and Shahid Afridi, and most of Sri Lanka’s leading cricketers.

Salaries in the league will be on the lower side; one estimate suggested three salary slabs with the highest at $30,000, which is what a mid-level player would get for each game of the IPL.

Shoaib Akhtar is one player who is understood to be a certainty for the tournament and Herschelle Gibbs is also believed to have been approached.

The league will also be a boon for players from Pakistan, who currently are not part of the IPL and whose international exposure has been limited because of security issues.