Colombo: Kumar Sangakkara will have to choose between playing for Kandurata Maroons and Sunrisers Hyderabad in the upcoming Champions League T20 in India, after Sri Lanka Cricket expressed a strong desire for him to represent Kandurata in the tournament.
SLC has gone as far as seeking legal counsel on whether they can ask Sangakkara to play for Kandurata, even if it will effectively cost both Sangakkara and the SLC significant sums of money if he plays for his local team, according to a report in ESPNCricinfo.
Sangakkara had previously said his IPL contract leaves him with no choice but to play for Sunrisers, but CLT20 organisers have since confirmed that players are free to choose, although they must forego 20 per cent of their IPL salary if they do not play for their IPL team. For Sangakkara, who is on a $700,000 annual contract, this would mean a loss of $140,000.
The Champions League rules also state that if a cricketer is a part of two qualifying teams, and does not play for the team from his home country in the tournament, the team he represents must pay his home side $150,000. As the Kandurata team is a direct extension of SLC, it is the board that stands to lose out on these funds.
“My understanding is that there are financial consequences for not playing for your IPL team, but not necessarily breach of contract consequences,” Dean Kino, head of business and legal affairs for the Champions League, said. “Under Champions League rules, the player has a choice.”
SLC have maintained that they would like Sangakkara to play for their own team, after Kandurata gained entry to the Champions League qualifiers by lifting the Super Fours provincial Twenty20 trophy.