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Monday, Dec 16, 2019

Sri Lanka’s tour of West Indies could be modified over Windies’ financial troubles

Sri Lanka’s tour of West Indies could see the third Test being scrapped and an ODI added in order to help the Windies Board gain financially

cricket Updated: May 20, 2018 19:41 IST
Bihan Sengupta
Bihan Sengupta
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
Rangana Herath will be the key for Sri Lanka as they aim to win a Test series in the West Indies for the first time ever.
Rangana Herath will be the key for Sri Lanka as they aim to win a Test series in the West Indies for the first time ever.(AFP)

Sri Lanka’s tour to West Indies is less than a week away and yet, the players of the sub-continent nation are yet to know if they’re heading to play a Test or an ODI series or both. Gone are the days when almost the same squad would be carried across different formats and hence, players too are yet to gain clarity on if they’re touring the Caribbean islands.

Sri Lanka are due to play three Tests with West Indies with speculations being that the third Test might be scrapped and an ODI series be slotted in to help the hosts gain financially.

Ashley de Silva, the CEO of Sri Lanka Cricket, however stated that the tour’s not under threat owing to the financial instability of the West Indian board. “The most likely scenario is that we might reduce one of the Tests and convert that into the ODI series. They are looking at some of the alternatives,” de Silva told Cricbuzz. “We should know within the next 48 hours what exactly is happening. Converting a Test match into an ODI series will financially benefit the hosts. We are waiting to hear from West Indies to get a clear idea.”

Sri Lanka were scheduled to play a tour match at the Brian Lara Stadium in Trinidad on May 30 before playing three Tests at Port of Spain, Gros Islet in St.Lucia and Bridgetown, Barbados.

According to a report on Cricbuzz, WICB have urged International Cricket Council for a financial bailout. “Even we have done that in the past. What usually happens is that the ICC gives away some money and then reduces from what is owed to the board for participation in ICC events. If the ICC bailout happens, we could even see all three Tests taking place,” Cricbuzz quoted an official as saying.

However, ESPNCricinfo claimed that the West Indies board had gone a step further to request Sri Lanka share a part of the total costs for hosting the series. “CWI are experiencing a really challenging financial year as they only have home series scheduled against us and Bangladesh,” ESPNCricinfo quoted Ashley de Silva as saying. “They have been talking to us about sharing the costs of the tour and at this stage they haven’t given us any indication that the tour might get postponed altogether.”