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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Shehan on February 26, 2014, 5:38 GMT

    Sri Lanka cricket should also try to get two tests in to the England tour schedule in November, as playing another useless ODI tournament with Bangladesh in October will do no good for the retiring greats.

  • prasad on February 25, 2014, 16:38 GMT

    It will be a great series with No 1 test team taking on SL in SL conditions love to see Steyn, Philander and morkel against SL top order.

  • Farhan on February 25, 2014, 12:26 GMT

    Why 2 test??? I dont understand why top teams like SA will only play 2 test against another top team? This should have been a 3 test series.

  • Sinha on February 25, 2014, 7:21 GMT

    Some good news. In an ideal world, this tour would have 3 Tests, 5 ODIs and maybe 2 or 3 T20s. But this is better than nothing.

  • Dummy4 on February 25, 2014, 4:20 GMT

    I really cannot understand why is South Africa always playing a 2 test series... I cannot remember, other than the present Australia series, when was the last time they played a full 3 test or 4 test series... Lesser teams are playing 4 and 5 test tournaments and its high time that the world number 1 team is shown some respect and given a lot more test matches. Perhaps a 5 test series the next time they travel to India would be an ideal thing both, for them and for us. Imagine watching Steyn, Morkel and Co. running into the Indian batting for 5 test matches scheduled at Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai and Bangalore. it would be more worthy than anything else. Plus they do have the capacity to draw in decent crowds. I believe the fault lies with CSA as they have not been able to convince the other test playing nations to come in for a full tour. Though the Indian fiasco was not their doing, I feel the whole situation could have been handled with bit of common sense and responsibility.

  • Nick on February 25, 2014, 4:16 GMT

    In August 2004 Sri Lanka won a 2-match test series against South Africa 1-0. The 1st test at Galle was a draw : Mahela scored 237 and Sanga 58, Shaun Pollock took 4/48. The 2nd test at SSC in Colombo was won by SL by a massive 313 runs. Sanga scored 232 and Mahela 82, Pollock again with 4/81. Ten years on, and the prospect of watching Sangakkara (58.07) and Mahela (50.30) against the formidable Vernon Philander (18.87) and Dale Steyn (22.89).in July 2014. Forget the 3 one-dayers, its the 2 tests we are waiting to see!

  • Dummy4 on February 25, 2014, 3:19 GMT

    We want another test as SL can play with the best team under our conditions. The tour must be started with the test series

  • Nick on February 25, 2014, 2:08 GMT

    When South Africa toured Sri Lanka in July 2013 for a 5-match ODI series (won 4-1 by Sri Lanka) and 3-match T20 (won 2-1 by South Africa), the Premadasa (Colombo) and Pallekele (Kandy) grounds were jam-packed , hence the decision to play 3 ODIs in July 2014. As for the 2 tests, it will be a sterner proposition for Sanga and Mahela facing Philander and Steyn this time round. SAs attack in 2013 was led by Morkel, McLaren and Tsotsobe. Sri Lanka and South Africa played a drawn test match at Galle in 2004. It would be nice to see a rematch at this picturesque seaside ground in July 2014.

  • Carl on February 24, 2014, 18:16 GMT

    This two test concept is just not satisfactory and should be abolished. It's not too different from playing a two set tennis match, which would be ludicrous. It should be three tests minimum, four for series between top ranked teams and 5 for special occasions (e.g. when teams ranked 1 & 2 play each other. Even 5 Ashes games have recently become excessive given their frequency).

  • Dummy4 on February 24, 2014, 17:45 GMT

    High probability of getting most of the games washed away due to monsoon rain...BETTER TO GET THE WEATHER FORECAST FROM BBC. January, February & March are the driest months in Sri Lanka. But still no matches during these dry seasons...Long live SLC... :) ..Poor administrators

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