Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has welcomed Sri Lanka Cricket’s decision to accommodate those Sri Lankan Cricketers who are engaged in the IPL to join their England tour squad by May 19.
There are eleven Sri Lankan cricketers who are engaged in the IPL and seven of them are in the Test squad to England.
The Lankan squad is scheduled to leave for England on May 10 and will play their first three-day side game from Saturday May 14 against the county Middlesex at the Uxbridge Cricket Club Ground and the second from May 19 against the England Lions at the County Grounds at Derby. The Lankan side is expected to be at full strength for the second game.
The newly appointed Sri Lanka captain T.M. Dilshan who is turning out for the Royal Challengers Bangalore will join the team in England on May 12 and will be available for Lanka’s first side game in England while the two former captains in the side and present captains of the IPL – Mahela Jayawardena (Kochi Tuskers – Kerala) and Kumar Sangakkara (Deccan Charges) will fly to Sri Lanka on 16 May and leave for England on May 17 or 18.
The new recruit Nuwan Pradeep who is yet to play game for the Royal Challengers Bangalore will be in Sri Lanka on May 7 and will leave with the Lankan squad on May 10. The other players engaged in the IPL -- Suraj Randiv (Chennai Super Kings), Thisara Perera (Kochi Tuskers) and Dilhara Fernando (Mumbai Indians) are also scheduled to be back in the island on the 16th and leave for England on May 17 or 18.
Meanwhile allrounder Farveez Maharoof who is now turning out for the English county Lancashire and wicket-keeper batsman Kaushal Silva will join the national squad in England as cover for the delaying players as a result of their IPL engagements.
Two other players – Malintha Warnapura and Saminda Eranga were also drafted for the job, but later with the Lankan players confirming their participation by the second side game the call was withdrawn.
Sri Lanka’s away series against Pakistan which is due to be played in October-November this year may be played in Sri Lanka. The first Test between Sri Lanka and England will begin in Cardiff on May 26.
SLC Interim Committee secretary Nishantha Ranatunga speaking to the Sunday Times on this said “We have extended this offer to our Pakistan counterparts. We have said that Sri Lanka could provide all facilities for this tour where we would be engaged in three Test matches and five one-day internationals”. Pakistan is yet to host a single major Test playing nation at home since the Sri Lankan cricketers faced a terrorist attack in March 2009 while being engaged in a Test match in Lahore.
Meanwhile a PTI report from India quoted the former Sri Lanka captain challenging his former team-mate Hashan Tillekeratne to prove his allegation of match fixing in Sri Lanka. The report read – “Former Sri Lankan captain Mahela Jayawardene has urged his one-time teammate Hashan Tillakaratne to come out with substantial proof about the allegations of fixing matches since 1992 including the team composition for this year’s World Cup final.
"People can say whatever they want. You need to prove the allegations," Jayawardene told the reporters. Jayawardene refused to get into the details of the allegations stating that it is Tillakaratne who first needs to come out with substantial evidence of any kind of wrongdoing. "I have no comments. Honestly, I just saw the news. We will have to wait and see what he has to say and what he has to come out with to be honest with you, no comments till then."