After hours of indecision, the Sri Lanka and West Indies cricket boards have officially called off the one-day series with tentative plans to postpone the same to the end of Jan 2011.
Hambantota, the venue for the first two one-dayers has been witness to persistent, torrential downpours with no possibility for play. A Sri Lanka board official said that they waited till the last moment to take a call over whether the series would go ahead in hopes that the rain would subside. Reports suggested that both boards were working on rescheduling the series on the eve of it starting, but Sri Lanka Cricket denied the claims and the West Indies couldn't comment on them either.
It seems the time difference between the West Indies and Sri Lanka - nine and a half hours - further complicated the communication between the boards. To top of the bizarre goings-on former West Indies captain Chris Gayle, had apparently has released a Twitter update stating the series had been official scrapped and that he was leaving the island country.
Due to the inclement weather, neither side has been able to get any outdoor practice either. Consequently, the two sides were ill-prepared for this series. Rain has been an incessant dampener to the ill-timed series, regularly intervening in the three recently-concluded Tests and marring any possible result. The weather-induced stalemate has even caused Sri Lanka to drop from third to fifth in the ICC Test Rankings behind Australia with Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara terming the series the "worst in his life". In the eventuality that no one-day matches are played, it will severely hamper both sides plans of homing in on the right combination for the World Cup next year.
The Sri Lankan spearhead and trump card Muttiah Muralitharan, has been rested for this last series before the big event, but selectors are still hunting for a suitable back-up spinner. Off-break Suraj Randiv has found favour with the selectors in recent series, but now Rangana Herath and Ajantha Mendis have also emerged as strong contenders for the position. Being a bench-warmer for the Test series against the West India, fast bowler Lasith Malinga was hoping to get some match practice, but that doesn't seem likely now.
The West Indies had a disastrous time in South Africa in May-June, losing 5-0 and were looking to rebuild some momentum ahead of the big event next year. With weather not permitting them to achieve that in the Tests, they were hoping for a result-oriented one-day series. On the back of a tripple century in the first Test and some useful innings since, Gayle appears to be in good form. But captain Darren Sammy hasn't had much opportunity to vindicate his position as skipper and his performances have been inconsistent at best.