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Sri Lanka yet to resolve England tour crisis

Sri Lankan cricket's governing body is yet to resolve the crisis over next year's England tour that clashes with a more financially lucrative tournament in India, officials said on Saturday.
By HT Correspondent | AFP, Colombo
UPDATED ON JUL 12, 2008 11:26 AM IST

Sri Lankan cricket's governing body has yet to resolve the crisis over next year's England tour that clashes with a more financially lucrative tournament in India, officials said on Saturday.

A source at Sri Lanka Cricket dismissed local media reports indicating the board had agreed to allow players to take part in the Indian Premier League despite the clash with the England tour scheduled for April and May.

"The issue is yet to be finalised and very much at a discussion stage," the source said, asking to remain anonymous. He said they were awaiting a response from the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB).

Some 13 Sri Lankan cricketers, including star players Mahela Jayawardene, Sanath Jayasuriya, Muttiah Muralitharan and Kumar Sangakkara, have signed three-year contracts to play in the IPL.

The players argued they received permission to play in the IPL before the ECB came up with the idea of replacing Zimbabwe with Sri Lanka for the early part of the summer 2009.

Sri Lankan players earlier this week asked President Mahinda Rajapakse to persuade Sri Lanka Cricket to re-schedule the England tour.

The ECB has already released the itinerary for Sri Lanka's tour between April 21 and May 30, which will include three Test matches and three one-day internationals.

The next season's IPL is due to take place between April 10 to May 29.

Sri Lanka's apparent readiness to consider putting the IPL over the tour of England has drawn a tough reaction from the International Cricket Council.

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