Sri Lanka halts foreign league matches for players

June 27, 2010 (AFP) – Sri Lanka Cricket on Sunday barred its players from participating in overseas domestic leagues until the World Cup next year. The team is also due to tour Australia for a one-day series before West India travel to Sri Lanka in November in the build-up to the World Cup.

Sri Lanka, which is co-hosting the tournament with India and Bangladesh, is hoping to capitalise on home advantage to win its second world title since lifting the Cup in Pakistan in 1996. The ban comes as national selectors try to work out a winning combination for the showpiece tournament to be played in the sub-continent in February-April 2011.

“The decision affects 76 players now on contract,” the board’s media manager Brian Thomas said, adding the decision had been taken in consultation with selectors and the team management.

The move means explosive opener Tillakaratne Dilshan will not be able to turn out for New South Wales’ Twenty20 side in the 2010-11 Big Bash despite having signed a contract with them in March.

The ban, though, is unlikely to affect veteran batsman Sanath Jayasuriya, who is already playing for Worcestershire in the Twe