England invites West Indies to replace Sri Lanka for tour

KINGSTON, October 27, 2008 (AFP) – The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has invited West Indies to replace Sri Lanka in a tour of England next April and May for a test series and one-day internationals. The series would follow England’s visit to the West Indies from January to April of next year and provide a final tuneup ahead of the 2009 Ashes, when holders Australia visit England starting in July.

England’s invitation, which the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) said remains under discussion, would be for the Caribbean side to play two Test matches and three one-days.

Dr. Donald Peters, Chief Executive Officer of the WICB, said a decision would be made in the coming weeks.

“The WICB has a request to play two Tests and three ODIs in England. We are examining all possibilities,” he said.

“At this stage it presents some challenges because the West Indies will be hosting a series – including Tests and One-Day Internationals – against Bangladesh in early May next year,” Dr. Peters said.

Accepting the invitation would mean juggling Bangladesh’s scheduled visit as part of the International Cricket Council (ICC) plan that has such tests planned seven years in advance.