June 12, 2003

Sri Lanka make venue switch for England tour

Wisden CricInfo staff

The Sri Lankan cricket board has announced a change to England's winter tour schedule. It had earlier been agreed that three one-day internationals would take place in the second half of November, followed by three Tests in December, but now a change of venue has become necessary.

Colombo had been expected to stage all the matches, except for the first Test at Galle, but that will now change following the recent election of Thilanga Sumathipala as board president. He is known to favour the Rangiri Stadium in Dambulla, which is situated to the north of the country and is not subjected to the same heavy rains that can affect venues in Colombo.

The stadium was embroiled in financial and land-leasing disputes following its inaugural match on England's last tour in 2001, but it recently came into its own during the triangular series against Pakistan and New Zealand, staging the whole tournament after Colombo was affected by floods.