INTERVIEW-Cricket-Sangakkara hopeful of Deccan Chargers future

SINGAPORE Sun Oct 14, 2012 10:44am IST

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SINGAPORE Oct 14 (Reuters) - ICC cricketer of the year Kumar Sangakkara has backed the Indian cricket board to resolve the crisis surrounding the Deccan Chargers after the terminated Twenty20 franchise found new owners on Friday.

The Indian Cricket Board (BCCI) last month terminated the franchise for various defaults including failure to pay players on time, but the owners refused to accept the decision and issued a legal challenge, which the BCCI threw out.

Deccan Chronicle Holdings, who paid $107 million for the franchise in 2008, informed the Indian stock exchanges on Friday of their decision to sell the team to Kamla Landmarc, a Mumbai-based real estate company.

The sale only fuelled speculation in local media that the 2009 Indian Premier League (IPL) champions will be relocated to another state in the cricket-crazy country.

Deccan captain Sangakkara told Reuters in Singapore on Saturday that the team, which also boasts South African seamer Dale Steyn and Australian batsman Cameron White, were in the dark about their futures but was hopeful of a solution.

"Players have been paid and that's great. The franchise has ensured that they've always kept their word to the players and honoured all the contracts they have signed," said Sangakkara, who scored 1,444 runs in 14 tests from Aug. 2011 to Aug this year.

"They are now in arbitration with BCCI, I believe, to try and come to an agreement and the BCCI has always been very good in problem solving during the IPL they've done a great job over five years.

"Deccan Chargers is a great franchise to play for, so we as players, we can't control those things, we just wait and see as to what will happen."

Sangakkara, 34, who also amassed 1,457 runs at 42.85 from 37 one-day internationals in the award winning period was in Singapore to promote the charity "the foundation of goodness" along with former international team mate Muttiah Muralitharan.

The charity aims to provide greater opportunities for children in war-ravaged northern parts of Sri Lanka and tsunami hit areas of the south, with the duo arriving in Singapore with a under-19 team of players they hope can become internationals in the future.

GUT WRENCHING

"Of course as a cricketer, for selfish reasons, try and find the best cricketers to play for the country," Sangakkara said of the aims for the charity.

"We have had a tsunami orphan from the foundation play for the under-19s World Cup team a couple of months ago so these kids have a lot of talent we just need to give them the opportunity to refine those talents."

Offering coaching clinics to young fans and signing several autographs appeared to prove a nice way to forget about the Twenty20 World Cup loss to West Indies at home on Sunday.

"The fourth World Cup final, it was gut wrenching," the Sri Lankan said after losses to India last year and Australia in 2007 in the 50-over World Cup and the Twenty20 loss to England two years ago.

"Disappointing, but at the end of the day you have to accept the fact that to win the World Cup, you get to the finals, and that is the day you got to be at your best. Unfortunately we haven't be at our best on for occasions."

After the frustrations of another final loss, Sangakarra and Sri Lanka turn their attentions to the home series against New Zealand which begins with a Twenty20 match at the end of October.

New Zealand were swatted aside by West Indies in two tests in August before going down 2-0 in India shortly after, though Sangakkara believes the visitors' bowling attack needs to be watched.

"New Zealand's going to be a good challenge for us. They are a very good unit. They play very well together. So it'll be interesting to have them at home, after a while to see how we go with the team in transition." (Editing by Greg Stutchbury)

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