Modi terms Ranatunga's comment ''unjustified''

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New Delhi, Nov 1 (UNI) Terming Arjun Ranatunga's bashings ''unjustified'', Indian premier League (IPL) chairman Lalit Modi today asserted that it is very hard to understand why Sri Lankan board was taking such a hostile stand against the league.

''Ranatunga is totally unjustified in his continuous blasting of IPL,'' Modi told 'Cricinfo'.

''At a meeting held in Bangkok a few weeks ago where BCCI officials met the Sri Lankan management - both board and government representatives - the BCCI secretary (N Srinivasan) had clearly pointed out that it had no idea why such hostility exists.

''We are looking for answers. We hope to find a solution which is beneficial to both boards at the earliest. The officials were also quite perturbed that the situation had escalated to where it is today and were also looking for answers,'' he added.

In a press conference at Colombo yesterday, Sri Lankan Cricket (SLC) Chairman Arjuna Ranatunga lashed out at the IPL, saying Sri Lanka's next year's tour to England was cancelled because of non-availability of senior Lankan players who will play in the Indian Premier League and that cost SLC three million dollar.

Modi also reacted strongly and stated that instead of us, England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) and the SLC were to blame for the current crisis over Sri Lanka's tour of England because IPL prepared their schedule as per the Future Tours Programme (FTP).

''We prepared our schedule as per the FTP, which is prepared years in advance, and we signed the players for a certain term based on that. Both Sri Lanka board officials and players were in the knowledge of the schedule. The ECB invited Sri Lanka without knowing that the players had already received a NOC to play for the IPL from the Sri Lankan board.

''Besides, if you go by the FTP, there was an additional tri-series scheduled between India, Sri Lanka and South Africa (during that period), which was to be confirmed by all parties.

Therefore Sri Lanka should not have signed the MoU with ECB without first taking into account the above two issues,'' he added.

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