SLC seek post­pone­ment of South Africa Tests

The Pak Banker - - Front Page -

COLOMBO

Sri Lanka Cricket has re­quested a post­pone­ment of the three-Test home se­ries against South Africa, sched­uled for July and Au­gust next year, un­til 2014 or later, in or­der ac­com­mo­date a tri­an­gu­lar one-day se­ries. That triseries, in­volv­ing West Indies and In­dia, is it­self a resched­uled fix­ture, af­ter Sri Lanka's two Tests in the West Indies that clashed with the end of the IPL were culled from the fix­tures list.

In­stead of tour­ing the West Indies be­fore the Cham­pi­ons Tro­phy in June, the tri-se­ries will now take place af­ter the Cham­pi­ons Tro­phy, mean­ing there is not enough time to play the Tests against South Africa be­fore the SLPL is set to be­gin. CSA has said it is re­view­ing SLC's re­quest, but they will have to weigh up broad­cast­ers' in­ter­ests be­fore tak­ing their de­ci­sion.

"We are not keen on can­celling Tests," CSA act­ing chief ex­ec­u­tive Jac­ques Faul said. "It goes through a process where we send it to the team man­age­ment and then the lo­gis­tics man­ager. We try to help other coun­tries as much as we can but they will have to give rea­sons for want­ing no Tests. When you can­cel Tests, you've got to be care­ful be­cause there are broad­cast­ing is­sues."

The re­quest to change the tour pro­gramme is a con­tin­u­a­tion of the SLC's re­cent trend of culling Tests from Sri Lanka's sched­ule. In ad­di­tion to the Tests in the West Indies that have been scrapped, two Tests against In­dia in July this year be­came five ODIs, and a Twenty20 and the three Tests sched­uled for Eng­land in March be­came a two-Test se­ries as the IPL ap­proached.

SLC CEO Ajit Jayasekara said the SLPL "al­ways had a win­dow" in Sri Lanka's in­ter­na­tional sched­ule, and was not the rea­son SLC has re­quested the Tests to be resched­uled. Ac­cord­ing to the Fu­ture Tours Pro­gramme, South Africa's tour, which in­cluded five ODIs and three Twen­ty20s, would have be­gun early in July and ended late in Au­gust. The SLPL is likely to be­gin in early Au­gust.

While the dates of the Test se­ries are as yet un­clear, the two boards have agreed to play five ODIs and two of the three Twen­ty20s sched­uled for the tour. Jayasekara said that given Sri Lanka will have re­cently played the Cham­pi­ons Tro­phy and the tri-se­ries, it would be more ben­e­fi­cial for the team to play more lim­ited-overs cricket, in­stead of do­ing away with the lim­ited-overs matches to make way for Tests. If the three Tests are post­poned, Sri Lanka only have four Tests sched­uled be­tween Jan­uary and De­cem­ber in 2013, against Bangladesh and Zim­babwe.

South Africa last toured Sri Lanka in 2006 when they played two Tests; the rest of the tour was can­celled af­ter the vis­i­tors pulled out due to se­cu­rity rea­sons.

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