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                          No Sri Lankan owners for SLPL franchises

Defying all negative forecasts for the much-frowned-upon Sri Lanka Premier League (SLPL) and the dismal image of Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC), some of the world’s leading companies have put faith in the new project, investing heavily in Sri Lankan standards to win the ownership of franchises.Among the big names that have won the franchises are soft drink giants Pepsi and the leading Indian business conglomerate Wadhwan Holdings, sources told “Daily Mirror”. however, just as expected none of the Sri Lankan companies had made any bids, probably being knocked out by the massive floor price of US $ 3 million (Rs. 405 million) set by SLC for the franchise ownerships.Though the figure may appear hefty by Sri Lankan standards it dwarfs when compared to the Indian Board’s financial colossus Indian Premier League (IPL) franchises which each had a fixed minimum price of $50 million (SL Rs. 1.75 billion) when the tournament was launched in 2008 but it later sky-rocketed to $225 million (SL Rs. 7.88 billion) when two teams were added in 2010.SLPL will conduct a player auction on July 5 for the franchises to buy their players through a competitive process while the icon players and foreign stars who will have a set base price can be won through a lottery. Salaries of all players would be paid by the franchises while SLC will submit a list of 40 local players for the auction.Indian business giant Wadhwan Holdings have paid the biggest amount of US $ 5.02 million (Rs. 677 million) to buy the Wayamba Franchise. It was Wayamba Province which represented Sri Lanka under the name Wayamba Elevens in the first two Champions League T20 tournaments in 2009 and 10.Sri Lanka’s skipper Mahela Jayawardene and several young stars such as Thisara Perera, Farveez Maharoof, Ajantha Mendis, Rangana Herath and Chanaka Welegedara represented the team in the past.Wadhawan Group is one of the biggest Indian companies promoted by the Wadhawan Family to pursue their business interests in diversified verticals like food retail, hospitality, hotels and resorts, lifestyle retailing, education, financial services and real estate.