Sri Lanka news September 11, 2012

Sri Lanka, West Indies scrap Tests from tour


The West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) and Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) have scrapped two Tests from Sri Lanka's tour of the West Indies next May and instead plan to play an ODI tri-series involving India. The decision also means that players from both teams will remain available during the IPL, which runs from April 3 to May 26 next year. The teams were scheduled to play two Tests, three ODIs and two Twenty20s as per the Future Tours Programme. It is unclear if the Twenty20s will remain part of the tour.

SLC chief executive Ajit Jayasekara denied the motive for foregoing the Tests was to avoid a clash with the IPL, but failed to provide an alternate reason. He said the WICB had put forward the idea, and the SLC had agreed to the change in schedule after holding discussions. Jayasekara said scheduling an ODI series instead of following the FTP would end up being "more lucrative for the board".

WICB corporate communications manager Imran Khan said that all three boards had agreed in principle to the tri-series. Dates and details would be finalised following final sanction from the BCCI. Incidentally, national boards receive 10% of each player's salary from the IPL.

This will be the second time Sri Lanka have foregone a Test series which clashes with the IPL. In 2009, they declined to replace Zimbabwe in England, when Zimbabwe were unable to tour for political reasons. In 2011, several players, including Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene, missed tour matches playing in the IPL ahead of a three-Test series in England, which Sri Lanka eventually lost 1-0.

West Indies spin bowler Sunil Narine also missed two Tests against England due to his IPL commitments, though he did play in the third Test. Chris Gayle did not feature in that series due to a standoff with the board, which has since been resolved. 

The change in the tour programme is also a continuation of the SLC's recent trend of culling Tests from Sri Lanka's schedule. Two tests against India in July became five ODIs and a Twenty20 and the three Tests scheduled for England in March became a two-Test series as the IPL approached. With the schedule now adjusted, Sri Lanka will not play an away Test against a top-eight opposition between January and December.

The BCCI did not confirm India's involvement in any change of plans. "We have been told about this but the matter is being discussed. Nothing has been decided or finalised yet," a senior BCCI official said.

During its annual meeting in Malaysia, the ICC had decided not to create a window for the IPL, as they did not want to set a precedent of domestic tournaments taking priority over international cricket. "Once you provide a window for one particular member, you have to be conscious of the fact you may well have to do it for other members," then ICC chief executive Haroon Lorgat said in June. "Hence why we have not been supportive of a window specifically for any one of those domestic leagues."

Additional reporting by Nagraj Gollapudi

Andrew Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's correspondent in Sri Lanka

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Sarthak on September 13, 2012, 18:56 GMT

    Shocking decision! Both SL & WI are not doing well in test matches of late and look how they respond. By not playing it! What short-sightedness! This was a rare opportunity for WI to win a test series and for SL to win a test series overseas. Without caring for the much needed moral boost this series could have possibly brought them, they are scrapping it in fear that few players may go away for playing some domestic T20 tournament. Don't cry in future if you remain fit to play only T20Is and the stronger nations stop playing test cricket with you and may be even ODIs. Seeing the WI team honestly I don't think they have the temperament/will to play even the ODIs. It's a matter of time they start scrapping, squeezing ODI series to get more T20Is in near future.

  • Mohan on September 13, 2012, 4:32 GMT

    @edgie I accepet. Remember the Test Match WI vs Nz in Antiqua final 2 days of play was week end with WI in winning position along with their fav sons Gayle,Narine,Roach performing well was witnessed by empty stands. Then how can WICB earn. You want wnt players to showcase their skill in test but dont want to watch it. Also most here say T20 are waste but the ground is full how?.

  • Rahul on September 13, 2012, 0:25 GMT

    One more series against SL that means one more series win for India

  • Dummy4 on September 12, 2012, 20:14 GMT

    only jobless people will watch 5 days of WI vs SL match :) ...pity on them ....self proclaimed REAL cricket fans ...

  • Master on September 12, 2012, 19:30 GMT

    Great decision. Get rid of test matches and replace them with more interesting and result oriented ODI/T20. I still don't want to see India/SL game again though.

  • Big on September 12, 2012, 19:28 GMT

    @wakakazi, your comments seems more immature. If you feel sitting behind a keyboard and watching test cricket make you an expert, then more power to you but the fact is you and test cricket can be compared with outdated VCRs who nobody uses it anymore but everyone has one. Whatever team you are supporting is in fact playing more ODI then test cricket. Only people with lot of free time can spend 5 days watching a game that usually ends in a draw. Go explain that to someone who does not know cricket and then further explain how great "test cricket" is.

  • Munafs on September 12, 2012, 18:43 GMT

    For all SL fans claiming to thrash India for decades - here are stats to support your theory. India SL bilateral series record since 1997 - because before 1996 SL was a considered minnow so sparing series losses records before 1996 becos I am such a nice person. India in Sri Lanka ODI Series 2012 India 4-1 (5) , Sri Lanka in India ODI Series 2009/10 India 3-1 (5 , India in Sri Lanka ODI Series 2008/09 India 4-1 (5) , India in Sri Lanka ODI Series 2008 India 3-2 (5) , Sri Lanka in India ODI Series 2006/07 India 2-1 (4) , India in Sri Lanka ODI Series 2006 drawn 0-0 (3) , Sri Lanka in India ODI Series 2005/06 India 6-1 (7) , India in Sri Lanka ODI Series 1997 Sri Lanka3-0 (3) . Not to mention the worldcup final 2011 was also one of the major India thrashing SL as usual match and can be counted as major victory over SL. There were more victories than losses on neutral venues too over the period 1996 -2012. Do you want stats for that too.

  • Vikram on September 12, 2012, 17:54 GMT

    yay! more India-SL matches!

  • Dummy4 on September 12, 2012, 17:50 GMT

    the IPL is not just any 'domestic tournament'. It is the premier T20 league Championship in the cricketing world. By allowing foreign players to participate, it creates opportunity to players of all nationalities. Sure, there are other leagues coming up of its kind. but IPL is streets ahead in terms of the colour, the quality, the success, the following it has and the passion and excitement it generates. the ICC, which has given full backing to the IPL shud be pragmatic. no point in taking an ideological stance. give a window to IPL alone ; no other league really deserves the same treatment. and let all players and countries benefit from that !!

  • zia on September 12, 2012, 17:31 GMT

    Well I don't think so it is a good decision!!! ICC should take action on it.

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