SLC politics throws tri-series in confusion

Published: Tuesday, July 11, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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Colombo:A bitter battle to control Sri Lanka's cricket establishment has wrecked the schedule for next month's limited-overs tri-series against India and South Africa.

The dispute, generated by upcoming elections at Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC), revolves around holding the first four matches of the August 14-29 tri-series in the central town of Dambulla.

The government-appointed interim committee running SLC last week changed the original schedule and decided to hold all seven matches of the series at two venues in capital Colombo.

Officials running in Saturday's SLC elections, however, said it will shift the first four matches back to Dambulla if it wins the polls and blamed the interim committee for causing confusion.

"Its just poor management from the interim committee," Mohan De Silva, who is running for SLC president against interim head Jayantha Dharmadasa, told AFP on Tuesday.

"It is just a matter of making outstanding payments to the authorities in Dambulla and the ground will be available.

"When we get elected, well make sure that matches take place according to the original schedule."

The Rangiri international stadium in Dambulla was championed by former SLC president Thilanga Sumathipala, who was thrown out by the government last year and replaced by Dharmadasa's interim committee.

Sumathipala is not contesting this time but has thrown his weight behind De Silva.

Graeme Smith's South Africa are due to arrive in Sri Lanka next week to play two Test matches and then the tri-series.

Both Tests will be played in Colombo with the first at the Sinhalese sports club on July 27 and the second at the Sara stadium on August 4.

Tri-series schedule:

Aug 14: Sri Lanka v South Africa

Aug 16: Sri Lanka v India

Aug 18: India v South Africa

Aug 20: Sri Lanka v South Africa

Aug 23: Sri Lanka v India

Aug 26: India v South Africa

Aug 29: Final

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