SLC explores possibilities of filling Zim series void
Sri Lanka Cricket has approached other cricket boards to look into the possibility of organising a tour to the country after receiving a request from Zimbabwe Cricket seeking postponement of their scheduled series. Sri Lanka are to play two Tests, three ODIs and two T20s in Zimbabwe between October 6 and November 4.
According to SLC secretary, Nishanth Ranatunga, SLC has approached the West Indies Cricket Board, New Zealand Cricket, Cricket Australia and the England and Wales Cricket Board, to possibly host a tour in the period scheduled for the Zimbabwe series, in case the tour is postponed.
"We have written to a few countries that are without any international fixtures in October-November and are awaiting a response from them," Ranatunga said. "We have to first know of the availability of the countries before deciding on the tour schedule. We are looking at three weeks in October."
Of the teams approached, New Zealand are scheduled to travel to Bangladesh between October 2 and November 7, after which they will tour Sri Lanka. Australia will be touring India for a limited-overs series. England will be preparing for the Ashes in Australia, starting in November, while West Indies are scheduled to tour New Zealand in December for three Tests, five ODIs and two T20s.
Earlier this week, Ranatunga had confirmed that Zimbabwe Cricket had written to the board asking to postpone the tour, due to some "challenging issues" that the host board was facing. The e-mail has been circulated among the members of the SLC executive committee and a decision on it will be taken next week.
"If Zimbabwe cannot accommodate us at the moment and are seeking a postponement we will have to communicate with them and find out when it is suitable to play the series in the near future," he said.
If the Zimbabwe tour is postponed, it is likely to be a setback to Sri Lanka as they try and improve their Test ranking. Sri Lanka are currently seventh in the ICC rankings for Test teams, above New Zealand and Bangladesh. The board had already postponed two scheduled Tests in the Caribbean and three Tests against South Africa at home. Sri Lanka last played a Test series against Bangladesh in March and their next scheduled Test, after Zimbabwe, is a three-match series against Pakistan in the UAE in December.