Sri Lanka agree to players’ demands over England tour

July 10, 2008 (AFP) – Sri Lanka Cricket chiefs have agreed to try and postpone or reschedule next year’s England tour to allow its players to take part in the lucrative Indian Premier League, officials said Thursday. The tour, hastily arranged earlier this month after England suspended bilateral cricket relations with Zimbabwe, includes two Tests, three one-dayers and four warm-up games and is scheduled to run from April 21 to May 30.

But Sri Lanka’s players had objected to the timing of the tour because it clashes with the IPL, and had asked Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapakse to intervene to postpone the tour or change when it takes place.

“We will take up the matter with the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) shortly to find what alternatives we can arrive at without upsetting both parties,” cricket chief executive Duleep Mendis told reporters Thursday after a committee meeing.

Mendis said key players had already committed to play in next year’s IPL, due to be played between April 10 and May 25.

But the players had assured the cricket board that they will give the 2011 tour of England priority ahead of the IPL.

“Taking these points into consideration we couldn’t let them down. Therefo