Sri Lanka news February 24, 2014

CSA confirms two-Test tour to Sri Lanka

CSA and SLC have brought South Africa's postponed Test tour of Sri Lanka forward by one year, but replaced one Test with ODIs. South Africa will play two Tests and three ODIs in Sri Lanka in July, a CSA release confirmed, but the original schedule had specified three Tests, in addition to the five ODIs and three Twenty20s that have already been played last year.

SLC had requested the Tests be moved to 2015, ostensibly to vacate the schedule for a Sri Lanka Premier League, but space in both teams' schedule in July has allowed a change of plans. The release said the two-match Test series would be "fulfilling the series against Sri Lanka, which was postponed last year".

No dates have yet been set for the matches, but the advancement of the tour breaks up Sri Lanka's lengthy stretch without a home Test; the last home Test they played was in March 2013. The only incoming tour in their 2014 schedule had been a limited-overs series against England in November.

The advancement also enables a final tilt at the top-ranked Test team for Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara. The pair had been instrumental in Sri Lanka's 2-0 victory over South Africa in their most-recent tour of the island in 2006, which is also the last series South Africa had lost away from home.

Sangakkara had been particularly irked by the postponement of last year's Tests, suggesting it had been a lost opportunity for his team, because South Africa have struggled in Sri Lankan conditions.

Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent. He tweets here

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