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Minister rejects Sri Lanka Cricket’s request for Ten Sports deal

Sri Lankan sports minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage has turned down a request from Sri Lanka Cricket, the sport’s governing body in the country, to extend a worldwide rights deal with Asian pay-television broadcaster Ten Sports without carrying out a tender process.

The ministry of sports said that the governing body’s president, Upali Dharmadasa, had requested that Ten Sports, the incumbent rights-holder, be awarded a seven-year extension, from 2013-14 to 2019-20.

“The minister turned down their request after consulting the attorney general and also has informed the Sri Lanka Cricket officials to abort the agreement with immediate effect,” the ministry said. “It has to be done the proper way.”

Dharmadasa responded by saying that Ten Sports had an exclusive negotiating window for a renewal under the terms of the broadcaster’s previous agreement.

He also accused the ministry of trying to “tarnish” his name, adding that the request, rather than being individually submitted, was sent to the ministry by a committee formed by the governing body to handle rights sales.