Sri Lanka tour of Pakistan hit by Twenty20 tournament

March 23, 2008 (AFP) – Sri Lanka’s proposed series of one-day internationals against Pakistan next month is in jeopardy due to a clash of dates with the cash-rich Indian Premier League.

Sri Lanka had offered to play in the short series following a pull-out by Australia from a full tour of Pakistan in March-April due to security concerns.

But the dates of the series — from April 23 to May 5 — are in direct clash with the inaugural Twenty20 league, to be played over 44 days at various venues in India from April 18 to June 1.

The lure of playing in the cash-rich IPL ahead of the Pakistan series could prompt top Sri Lankan players to shun their national colours, media reports said Sunday.

Captain Mahela Jayawardene, key batsman Kumar Sangakkara and spin wizard Muttiah Muralitharan are among a host of Sri Lankan players contracted to play in the IPL.

Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC), the governing body for the sport here, would be helpless to prevent the players from playing in the league as they are currently bound only by the West Indies tour contract, The Nation reported.

It said the players, currently in the West Indies to play two Tests and three one-day internati