Sri Lanka in India 2005-06 October 30, 2005

Sri Lanka to play Test in Delhi despite blasts



Marvan Atapattu's men will play their first-ever Test at Delhi when they return for the Test series in December © Getty Images

Sri Lanka will not make a request to the Indian cricket authorities for a change of Test venue following Saturday's bomb blasts in New Delhi which left around 60 dead and several more wounded.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) programmes and fixtures committee, which met on Friday, allotted Delhi, Kanpur and Chennai as the venues for the three Tests against Sri Lanka, starting on December 2.

But Duleep Mendis, the CEO of Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC), said yesterday that the venues would remain as decided by the Indian Board. "At this moment of time we will not make any moves to alter the venues because we have not heard anything of a serious nature from the Indian Cricket Board," said Mendis. "If at all there is some concern playing the Test in Delhi the Indian cricket authorities will advise us."

In releasing the venues, the BCCI had stated that the order of the venues would be decided later taking into account the travel plans of the Sri Lanka team. The BCCI also stated that SLC had not requested for a warm-up game before the Test series and as of now there were no plans to organise such a match.

However, Mendis said that as far as he was aware, a warm-up match was part of the itinerary. "If it is not included in the itinerary we will make a request for it," he said. "We made a similar request ahead of the on-going one-day series and were granted a practice game."

Although they have toured India previously on five occasions, Sri Lanka have not played a Test match in Delhi and the upcoming tour will see them play their first-ever Test match there. On their first-ever Test tour to India in 1982-83, Sri Lanka played a one-off Test at Madras and four years later in 1986-87, they played a Test match at Kanpur. Both Tests ended in high-scoring draws. Sri Lanka have yet to win a Test match in India. The 11 Tests played there have resulted in six defeats and five draws.

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