Although this has been not for the first time, but the ace Sri Lankan bowler Lasith Malinga has chosen MI over his Lankan side in the upcoming CLT20. Lasith Malinga is part of the Sri Lankan domestic T20 team Southern Express, which has won the Sri Lankan T20 league the Super Fours! As per the insider information, Malinga was in talks with the Southern Express management for a higher payment to play in the CLT20 after the discussions he had with the Sri Lanka Cricket.
After these discussions Malinga formally asked the Sri Lanka Cricket board to allow him to play for the Mumbai Indians in the upcoming Champions League T20 tournament via a letter on the 15th of last month. On 22nd July the Sri Lanka Cricket’s executive board approved his request and allowed him to play for the Mumbai Indians in the CLT20 tournament. This also means that Malinga will now get the 10% of his IPL salary as he is not going to play for the side other than Mumbai Indians in the CLT20.
In a press release from Sri Lankan Cricket suggests that it is a sole prerogative of a player himself on which side he wants to represent in the Champions League T20 as per the Team Participation Agreement clauses, but at the same time Sri Lanka Cricket wished their best for Malinga’s participation for the Southern Express team.
Interesting twist to the story came when despite choosing to play for MI and not Southern Express, Malinga demanded that at least 50% of the Sri Lanka Cricket’s income should be distributed equally between the Southern Express players. The income we are talking about is the amount Sri Lanka Cricket gets to allow it’s local T20 team (Southern Express in this case) to participate in CLT20. After rejecting the initial demand by Malinga the board and the players settled with 15% amount distribution after deducting the tax. According to the CEO of SLC, Mr. Ashley de Silva, SLC will get US$ 500, 000 as a participation increment from CLT20 organizers.
This 15% amount is expected to be distributed evenly and not according to seniority of the players. This decision to allow Malinga to play for MI and not for the Southern Express is totally in contrast with SLC’s last year’s decision to force Kumar Sangakkara to play for the local T20 team Kandurata Maroons and not his Indian IPL side Sunrisers Hyderabad.
In addition to the US$ 500, 000, SLC will also receive US$ 150,000 from Mumbai Indians as per the rules of CLT20 since the Southern Express is allowing its player to play for them. Effectively Southern Express is owned by the Sri Lanka Cricket and hence the entire money will go to them only.
The Champions League T20 is scheduled to be played from 13th September to 4th October this year.