Colombo: In a step that could strain the relations between the cricket boards of India and Sri Lanka, the Lankan government and Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) have decided to stick to their decision of calling back national cricketer, playing in the IPL, by May 5.

Early this month they had ordered the players to return to the country to prepare for the upcoming England tour.

The decision comes even after the BCCI politely conveyed to Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) that asking its players to return midway through the Indian Premier League would have dire consequences for the latter.

Reports suggest top echelons of the BCCI reminded SLC of the many instances in the past when the Indian board had stood by them during a crisis and how the SLC had benefited financially through the Indian teams' visits, often outside the Future Tours Programme, apart from being involved in the IPL itself.

Though no meeting took place between the BCCI and SLC but Indian officials did speak to their Lankan counterparts on the matter and requested them to let their players play in the Twenty20 event at-least till May 15.

But Sports Minister Mahindanada Aluthgamage and the SLC have decided to ignore the Indian request.

A Sri Lankan Cricket source said here today that Aluthgamage, Sri Lanka Cricket and the national selection committee had lengthy deliberations yesterday on the matter.

Accordingly some 11 Sri Lankans including the star players Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardena and the newly appointed Sri Lankan captain Tillakaratne Dilshan would have to abide by the Sri Lankan decision.

Aluthgamage has said that interests of SLC was his priority and Sri Lankans would be sending a polite explanation on the decision to the Indians.

Sri Lanka summoned all IPL players to return in order to prepare for the tour of England which starts on May 10.

Former captain Sangakkara, now leading Deccan Chargers, said the players will have to abide by the Sri Lanka Cricket decision but expressed hope that two boards would sort out the issue.

(Agencies)