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News

England urged to be vigilant amid Sri Lanka political tension

Business as usual for now after removal of prime minister on Friday prompts concerns for stability

George Dobell
George Dobell
27-Oct-2018
England and Sri Lanka are due to be briefed by the ICC's ACU before the start of their series, Colombo, October 3, 2018

England and Sri Lanka are due to be briefed by the ICC's ACU before the start of their series  •  Getty Images

The England squad have been urged to exercise caution following a change in the political situation in Sri Lanka.
The Sri Lanka president, Maithripala Sirisena, sacked the nation's prime minister, Ranil Wickramasinghe, on Friday. Opponents of the move have denounced it as unconstitutional with one government minister describing it as "an anti-democratic coup".
There are currently few obvious signs of unrest on the streets around the England team's hotel - though a demonstration did briefly cause disruption on the road just outside it earlier in the week - the players and support staff have been advised by their security team to be vigilant and avoid all demonstrations and large political gatherings. A major demonstration is expected in Colombo on Monday.
The briefing has not, at this stage, affected the team's plans. Members of the Test squad not involved in Saturday night's T20I match at the Premadasa stadium - the likes of Joe Root, Chris Woakes and Olly Stone, who were part of the limited-overs squad, and the new arrivals such as Joe Leach, Rory Burns, James Anderson and Stuart Broad - instead trained at the P Sara stadium.
Ben Foakes is expected to join the squad on Sunday having been called up as cover for the injured Jonny Bairstow. The squad will train at Nondescripts Cricket Club on Sunday morning.

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo