New Zealand in Sri Lanka 2012-13

Test postponements understandable - Jayawardene

Andrew Fernando

November 16, 2012

Comments: 24 | Text size: A | A

Thilan Samaraweera made 47, Sri Lanka v England, 2nd Test, Colombo, P Sara Oval, 4th day, April 6, 2012
Mahela Jayawardene said Test specialists like Thilan Samaraweera were well prepared for the upcoming series, despite long periods away from international cricket © AFP

Mahela Jayawardene has defended Sri Lanka Cricket's (SLC) decisions to remove five Tests from Sri Lanka's schedule in 2013, citing the board's financial strife as an understandable motive for favouring limited-overs cricket. SLC agreed to replace a two Test series against West Indies, originally scheduled for May and June, with an ODI tri-series involving India, and have also postponed three home Tests against South Africa until 2015.

Limited-overs matches are more profitable than Tests for broadcasters and, in turn, SLC, which was so mired in debt after the 2011 World Cup that it was unable to pay player salaries for eight months. The board profits from allowing its cricketers to play in the IPL as well, as it receives 10% of the players' pay from the tournament, while it also made around $1.6 million from the inaugural SLPL. The Tests in the West Indies had clashed with the end of the IPL, and according to the Future Tours Programme, the home Tests against South Africa would have clashed with the SLPL, which is set to begin in early August.

Sri Lanka begin their two-Test series against New Zealand in Galle on Saturday, and on the eve of the first Test, Jayawardene suggested the decision to cut Tests from the schedule would help ensure domestic cricket retained funding. After the two home series, Sri Lanka play three Tests in Australia, but do not play a Test against top-eight opposition for over ten months in 2013.

"The financial situation of SLC its important," Jayawardene said. "They made certain calls. As players we have to see whether we have to go another 12 months without getting paid, or our first-class cricketers being not paid, or first-class cricket being not played at all due to financial issues, or whether they need to reshuffle our schedule and accommodate something else and look into playing Test cricket later on.

"These are tough calls. Obviously there's going to be two sides of the coin. Some people aren't going to like it while some people understand it's for a cause. We need to go ahead with it without making a huge fuss. It's disappointing, but we move on."

Two Tests against India that were scheduled for July this year were also removed from the schedule, and a three-Test home series against England shortened to two Tests, meaning the teams will also only play two Tests on the reciprocal tour in England. The reduction in number of Tests has meant Sri Lanka's Test specialists have longer periods away from international cricket, but Jayawardene said the cricketers coming into the side had maintained their skills through their downtime, and were well prepared for the seven weeks of Test cricket ahead. Batsmen Thilan Samaraweera and Tharanga Paranavitana, and wicketkeeper Prasanna Jayawardene exclusively play Tests for Sri Lanka, while fast bowler Chanaka Welegedara and offspinner Suraj Randiv are also only picked for the longest format.

"Everyone had a good net session - not just the batsmen, but even the bowlers who are coming back from injury," Jayawardene said. "Samaraweera, Prasanna and Tharanga have been working hard with the A-team coaches, although they didn't have any competitive cricket. All three of them are batting really well. They are very hungry and ready to play some competitive cricket. We are having five Tests in a row, which is great for us."

Rain has plagued the tour so far, with two ODIs and a Twenty20 having been washed out without a result, and the other three ODIs having been significantly shortened by rain. Rain is forecast for each evening of the Test, but the mornings are expected to remain dry. The Galle pitch often takes turn from day one, but Jayawardene said he did not expect the spinners to play a major role until later on in the Test.

"It looks like this pitch will only become helpful for the spinners in the last two days. Until then, it should be a good surface and it should have something in it for the fast bowlers as well. They will have some responsibility on their shoulders throughout the match."

Andrew Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's correspondent in Sri Lanka

RSS Feeds: Andrew Fidel Fernando

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by Test-is-the-best on (November 19, 2012, 23:25 GMT)

The SL captain needs to earn more money by playing some T20 tournaments before his retirement. He is justifying abolishing test matches therefore. This will definitely endanger the test cricket of the nation. The other test playing nations are reluctant to do this. SOONER than LATER SL will stand at the bottom of the RANK

Posted by Sinhaya on (November 19, 2012, 0:44 GMT)

@Imsrk haha India losing 8 away tests in a row last year till early this year shows that Afghanistan are a better test team than India! Simple as that! You all took over 19 years even to register your first test win and that even shows how pathetic you all are. England will thrash India 4-0 in this test series, watch out.

Posted by sajhera on (November 18, 2012, 14:12 GMT)

the best solution is not the cancelling the tests, Selectors must find good test players like vandort, Malintha, Chamara like experience players with young talent and give him a rest to mahela, Sanga, Dilshan etc. So can can achieve our both targets. i feel we do not want to think about IPL as Indian players did not take part in SLPL. Please think of Future cricket in SL

Posted by   on (November 18, 2012, 7:18 GMT)

very upset with cancelling the tests ..fed up with T20 &odis

Posted by warneneverchuck on (November 17, 2012, 20:16 GMT)

SL afraid to play outside SL they have never won test in AUS or IND which shows they r no better than BD

Posted by yorkslanka on (November 17, 2012, 20:13 GMT)

@ Edd oliver- well said my friend, absolutely correct...

Posted by yohandf1984 on (November 17, 2012, 16:38 GMT)

@ Narbavi , Please dont defecate in this forum . this is not an indian road to do so .

Posted by   on (November 17, 2012, 14:40 GMT)

Mahela may understand but I don't. How can the SLC can turn down a series with the World Test champions for money? Did our champion cricketers - present and past - develop their skills playing limited overs cricket? How will you develop the future cricketers? Has the Board shown any signs of trying to save any money?

Posted by gnanzcupid on (November 17, 2012, 12:48 GMT)

Icc should give additional aid to suffering sl cricket. Very sad to see sl cricket is in such economical crisis and is at indian board's mercy. It holdbacks the thrill of test cricket. If icc doesnt help,indian board can consider giving money to sl board. All for the game of cricket.

Posted by   on (November 17, 2012, 12:33 GMT)

Worst cricket board ever. Why don't they just cut the Bangaladesh tests also??

Posted by   on (November 17, 2012, 11:54 GMT)

This all comes back to the millions wasted on building not one but TWO white elephant stadiums in Pallekelle and Hambantota. Why could the board not have saved money and upgraded the Asgiriya Stadium in Kandy and the ground at Galle? Disgraceful mismanagement and as usual the finest form of the game suffers.

Posted by yorkslanka on (November 17, 2012, 10:43 GMT)

@Narbavi - where u been mate? not sure where you live but I am in England and can confirm that India got whitewashed the last time they played here whilst, although we lost the series, we did win a match and draw one...just admit your team is entitled to their mantle of flat track bullies..a very good team at home but awful when faced with a bit of pace and bounce(to be fair kohli is a good player in these conditions and of course sachin is class)..

Posted by   on (November 17, 2012, 8:48 GMT)

got a question for admins of this page.After we post our comment a window show up saying something like you edit the comments

Posted by   on (November 17, 2012, 5:49 GMT)

See, what a sad state cricket has come to.... It is no longer a sport, but a business....

Posted by Narbavi on (November 17, 2012, 4:49 GMT)

@James: The lankans couldn't even win in those flat tracks and we did win in england and australia in 2007, can you say the same about lanka? and to the others, why should we keep quiet when you guys unnecessarily poke fun at us?

Posted by Udendra on (November 17, 2012, 4:38 GMT)

I really feel for the likes of Samaraweera, PJ, etc. They'll have to spend months without cricket.

Posted by   on (November 17, 2012, 2:48 GMT)

@Narbavi you are correct mate Sri Lanka have had never lost 8-0 anywhere in the world ....let this discussions carry on between sri lanka ,NZ fans and also sensible cricket lovers from all over the world. We dont want to talk about india at all.. do we?

Posted by Hush78 on (November 17, 2012, 2:21 GMT)

@Narbavi : what ever said & done indian teams performance not only in cricket but other sports are nothing much to talk about. Specially when you have the richest cricket board in world and billionaires to support other sports with man power only second to china to find talent you are comparing India with Sri Lanka where as what you should do is be the leading or undisputed kings of cricket and compete at olympics with USA & china. Sri Lanka I believe has done well comparing the resources they have and India still comparing Sri Lanka means they are not achieving as much as they invest which is a tragedy for India.

Posted by Vikum72 on (November 17, 2012, 2:13 GMT)

Narbavi on (November 16 2012, 14:36 PM GMT): Mate you have got the teams mixed up! Its India who got white washed in Australia & England, not SL.

Posted by   on (November 16, 2012, 23:51 GMT)

@Narbavi, Mate lets wait and see how they will perform in Australia. If they were to get whitewashed, then mate I will take my hat off to you. If not then you should keep your tail between your legs and stop criticizing SL team. Mate grass tops are for cows and flat tracks are for bullies. Your great team can only win on flat tracks.

Posted by SLMaster on (November 16, 2012, 20:02 GMT)

I certainly have to disagree. It was inexcusable spending brought the finacial trouble. Playing more all format of competative cricket will eventually will help the financial situation. I do not think not playing will help. Why is test for SL is not lucrative !!!!!!! because SL is avoiding it.

Posted by crick_sucks on (November 16, 2012, 16:01 GMT)

Fantastic. Sacrifice test cricket for SLPL. Who wants to see you play test cricket. You suck at it anyways.

Posted by _MiddleStump_ on (November 16, 2012, 15:36 GMT)

Gotta Love MJ (I'm a big fan)... This bloke can sell ice cubes to an eskimo!

Posted by Narbavi on (November 16, 2012, 14:36 GMT)

Sorry Jaya you are wrong or may be you have misunderstood, these were done to avoid the embarassment of losing all those tests that has been mentioned here!! Deep down inside you know it and your countrymen know it too, now don't come after me and the other indians about 8-0, because you got nothing else to talk about!!

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Tour Results
Sri Lanka v New Zealand at Colombo (PSS) - Nov 25-29, 2012
New Zealand won by 167 runs
Sri Lanka v New Zealand at Galle - Nov 17-19, 2012
Sri Lanka won by 10 wickets
Sri Lanka v New Zealand at Hambantota - Nov 12, 2012
No result
Sri Lanka v New Zealand at Hambantota - Nov 10, 2012
Sri Lanka won by 7 wickets (with 34 balls remaining) (D/L method)
Sri Lanka v New Zealand at Pallekele - Nov 6, 2012
Sri Lanka won by 7 wickets (with 11 balls remaining) (D/L method)
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