Top Lanka players will miss England tour

Published: Thursday, September 25, 2008, 15:29 [IST]
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Colombo: Sri Lanka sports minister Gamini Lokuge has instructed  Sri Lanka Cricket Board to allow their top players to skip the tour of England next year and instead play in the Indian Premier League.

The England and Wales Cricket Board announced in July that Sri Lanka would play two Tests and three one-day internationals on a tour in April and May 2009, but the dates clash with the second edition of the IPL and top Sri Lankan players have refused to tour as they have lucrative IPL contracts.

Top players in Sri Lanka sqauad are said to be annoyed with the board, who initially told them they would be able to play in the lucrative Twenty20 league in 2009 only to go back on their word after a tour of England was arranged.

However Lokuge seems afraid to go against the powerful BCCI, who organise the IPL, and will now instruct the board to send a weakened team to England.

"I want the contracted players to honour their commitments with the IPL," he said from Colombo. "I don't want the tour to England be called off. But the team on English soil can have non-contracted IPL players."


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