New Delhi: Ace Sri Lankan spinner Muttiah Muralitharan and skipper Mahela Jayawardene have signed up for the new Twenty20 league in India next year, the cricket board said Monday.
The two stalwarts head a list of eight Sri Lankan players who have penned deals with the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to play in the Indian Premier League (IPL), vice-president Lalit Modi said in a statement.
Kumar Sangakkara, Sanath Jayasuriya, Lasith Malinga, Nuwan Zoysa, Farveez Maharoof and Dilhara Fernando complete the elite list.
The IPL, a Twenty20 competition to be held in India in April next year, offers three million dollars in prize money and will have eight teams to be bought by franchisees.
The top two sides would make it to an international Champions Twenty20 League to be played at an as yet undecided venue in October next year.
The IPL enjoys the backing of the International Cricket Council as against the rival Indian Cricket League, bankrolled by media baron Subhash Chandra.
"We at the IPL are committed to entice an entire new generation of sports fans into the grounds by showcasing some of the best cricketing talent on offer from the world over," Modi said.
"The eight Sri Lankan cricketers joining the IPL truly do bring some great cricketing acumen to the league," said Modi, a key figure in the seven-member governing council set up by the BCCI for the initiative.
The IPL has also signed up some recently-retired stars including Australians Shane Warne and Glenn McGrath and New Zealand's Stephen Fleming.
The league is modelled on the system of franchises used by the American NFL and NBA. Each franchise will pay a fee to the BCCI, which in turn will give it access to shared revenues.
The IPL is also likely to feature India's famed quartet of Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Sourav Ganguly and Anil Kumble.
Teams could include up to four internationals besides domestic players and local youngsters.
The ICL has signed at least seven other international players including Brian Lara and Inzamam-ul-Haq.