Colombo, June 27: In light of the BCCI's qualms over the Sri Lankan Premier League (SLPL), the tournament will proceed sans Indian players who had hoped to join.
"We will lose a bit of money because Indian players are not coming but the tournament will be played as planned," Mahindananda Aluthgamage told after failed talks to bring the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on board.
Speedsters Praveen Kumar and Munaf Patel were among a dozen Indian players who were barred by the BCCI from playing in the T20 tournament in Sri Lanka from July 19 to August 4.
The minister said the Indian board withheld its players on the basis of media reports that the event was being organised by a Singapore-based company with alleged links to Lalit Modi, the sacked former boss of the Indian Premier League.
"Mr. Modi is not involved in our tournament. But we have to accept India's decision. We remain friends with India," Aluthgamage said.
The London-based Modi is up against a stiff chargesheet including false accounting and accusations by the BCCI that more than $106 million was misappropriated during his three-year tenure as IPL chairman.
The Singapore-based Somerset Entertainment Ventures, who won the marketing rights for five years, has already paid an advance of $300,000 to Sri Lanka Cricket, the local Sunday Times newspaper reported.