India to tour Sri Lanka next month

January 13, 2009 (AFP) – India will play five one-dayers and a Twenty20 international against hosts Sri Lanka next month to help fill the gap created by their cancelled tour of Pakistan, officials said Tuesday. The dates and venues for the hastily arranged series will be announced within a few days, Indian cricket board secretary N. Srinivasan told reporters after talks with Sri Lankan board officials.

“India and Sri Lanka have a very long and close relationship in cricket, among other things, and we will continue to support Sri Lankan cricket in future,” said Srinivasan.

“We look forward to an interesting one-day series and a Twenty20 game in Sri Lanka when our team comes here.”

Sri Lanka’s Sports Minister Gamini Lokuge, meanwhile, said his country’s cricketers will be available for the lucrative Indian Premier League (IPL) Twenty20 competition for the next 10 years.

“We have decided to allow our players to play freely in the IPL,” Lokuge said, adding that a 10-year agreement on IPL and other Twenty20 tournaments had been signed between the two cricket boards.

Indian media reports said the upcoming tour was likely to take place between February 1-15 and all matches would be pla