Doubts over Sri Lankan tour of England increase

on October 28, 2008 by Administrator

Sri Lanka’s proposed tour of England scheduled for next year is coming under increasing threat of cancellation. The national cricket team had planned on visiting England to take part in two tests between the 7th and the 19th of May before competing in a three-match one-day series later that month.

The tour was arranged after the cancellation of Zimbabwe’s visit to the country. However, the tour is set to clash with the Indian Premier League, which currently contains numerous Sri Lankan cricket stars.

Players including Mahela Jayawardene, Muttiah Muralitharan, and Kumar Sangakkara, hold contracts with the Indian Premier League. The news that the tour may be affected by the IPL schedule has come as something of a surprise to the England and Wales Cricket Board.

However, the sports minister for Sri Lanka has previously stated that the players should not have to travel to England because honouring a contract with the IPL is more important. He has spoken of his desire for the national team to release the respective players and select a team with the remaining players, who are apparently “equally talented”.

However, he also conceded that the England and Wales Cricket Board stand to lose money from television rights and general income if the stars do not make an appearance.

Some sports pundits believe that the situation has been made worse by the fact that the Sri Lankan national team has been helped financially by the Board of Control for Cricket in India. This means that the players have been encouraged to honour Indian Premier League fixtures above all else.

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