In a complete U-turn from his earlier stance on IPL, Ranatunga made it clear that the board released the players for only the inaugural edition which concluded last May.
Players threaten to boycott English tour for IPL
"I take it that the (Sri Lankan) players would be prepared to heed the call to perform for their country in preference to the IPL. At the most, the players concerned would miss a part of the IPL series on account of the tour of England," Ranatunga said in a letter written to the top players.
Incidentally, the former captain had earlier remarked that the players could not be forced to tour England at the expense of IPL.
Ranatunga wrote "by permitting our national players to participate in the IPL, it is private individuals who earn a percentage of the players' earning while Sri Lanka cricket gets no financial benefits whatsoever."
Bankrupt SLC to bank upon cash-rich BCCI
On the players' unfavourable response to a letter by SLC Chief Executive Duleep Mendis late last year regarding the commitments of the national players, Ranatunga said they should agree to tour England for the two Tests and 3 ODI series in April/May 2009.
"The letter by Mendis written on Oct 1, 2007 had specifically stated that SLC had no objection to the cricketers participating in the inaugural IPL T20 in 2008 subject to they (them) being available for any commitments with SLC at any given time," Ranatunga said in the letter.