COLOMBO: Sports minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage, who has recalled the Sri Lankan players back home from the IPL to prepare for their tour of England, said his decision is not prompted by India's alleged shabby treatment of Sri Lankan politicians at the World Cup final in Mumbai.
"The recall and the final treatment are two separate issues with no links to each other," Aluthgamage told the local media.
"It was not my decision (to recall players). It was a selection committee decision," he added.
The ministry on Tuesday had asked the Lankan cricketers participating in the cash-rich Twenty20 league in India to return home by May 5 to prepare for the national team's tour of England that gets underway on May 14 with the first warm-up game.
The minister dismissed fears that the decision to call back the cricketers would lead to a stand off and a diplomatic row with India.
"The BCCI has asked us to allow the players to stay until May 22. But we have to take decisions, which are in our interests," stressed Aluthgamage.
"This is a time when we are trying to make a new beginning in international cricket as our captain and the vice captain have resigned," Aluthgamage said.
Sri Lanka team leaves for England on May 10 with the first Test starting at Cardiff on May 26. But the IPL commitments would go on until May 28.
"If IPL players failed to comply with the order, Sri Lanka will tour England with new faces," the sports minister said.