England could face second string Sri Lanka side

October 9, 2008 at 11:00 am 1 comment


Sri Lanka sport minister Gamini Lokuge has asked the Sri Lankan cricket board to release all IPL contracted players for the IPL. This could mean that a weakned Sri Lankan cricket team could arrive to tour England for 2 Tests and 3 ODIs.

The tour takes place between Aptil 21 to May 30, while the IPL takes place between April 10 and May 25. The ECB arranged the tour following the cancellation of Zimbabwe’s tour after Government advice. The IPL has contracted the likes of Muttiah Muralitharan, captain Mahela Jaywardene, Mendis, Dilhara Fernando and Jayasuriya. The players were thought to be unhappy that a tour had been scheduled at the same time as the IPL tournament and have argued that their IPL contracts were signed before the England tour was finalised and they would lose thousands of dollars if they did not play.

I have asked the cricket board to release the players for IPL and find other suitable players for the England tour. The England tour was a last-minute decision, taken after 13 cricketers had already committed to play in IPL next year

So I have asked the board to release the IPL-contracted players”.

– Gamini Lokuge

Last month Arjuna Ranatunga, the interim committee chief of SLC, said the tournament will go ahead and was strongly against Lokuge. However, Ranatunga was absent from the meeting as he was outside the country. Earlier in the year captain Mahela Jawardene admitted the players would like to play in the IPL but insisted that they would honour any tour commitments.

Any weakened Sri Lanka side would mean that the ECB could lose thousands of pounds due to sponsorship deals. It is unsure whether Sky sports will be willing to broadcast a series not containing any of Sri Lanka’s big names.

This will be a shame for International cricket and demonstrates how players are valuing playing for money over representing their country. A Pakistan – Sri Lanka series was cancelled due to the IPL earlier and it seems like players are prepared to put the IPL above international matches.

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Entry filed under: Cricket, England, IPL, Sri Lanka.

India vs Australia Test preview Sri Lanka tour to England in serious doubt

1 Comment Add your own

  • […] proposal follows the decision by sports minister Gamini Lokuge, that all players contracted to the IPL must be released from the tour to England. Sri Lanka were scheduled to play 2 tests and 3 ODIs in May following the cancellation of […]

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