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Monday, 24 September, 2001, 13:27 GMT 14:27 UK
Kandy's switch in the stars
England won their Kandy Test in March
England won their Kandy Test in March
Astrologers have told Sri Lankan officials that the Kandy Test should be switched to end a three-match losing streak at the ground.

The Asgiriya Stadium is traditionally the second fixture in Sri Lanka's three-match home series, but that will change for the upcoming visits of Zimbabwe and the West Indies.

Colombo's Daily News reported the change in plans would end a "hoodoo" that has afflicted Sri Lanka in recent times.

Against South Africa, England and India the Kandy Test has been lost. In the match with England it began the tourists' revival from 1-0 down ultimately to win the series 2-1.

  West Indies tour
4-6 November: Sri Lanka 'A' in Colombo
9-11 November: Sri Lanka 'A' in Matara
14-18 November: 1st Test, Galle
22-26 November: 2nd Test, Colombo
30 Nov-4 Dec: 3rd Test, Kandy
Kushil Gunasekera, Sri Lanka's cricket board spokesman said: "There have been many opinions expressed with regard to the national team's losses in Kandy.

"We thought a change of venues would bring about a change of results."

Other officials said the board had consulted astrologers, who suggested that the change in schedule might help.

Astrology plays a key role in Sri Lankan culture.

Organisers of important events often seek astrologers' opinions before deciding on the start date of important events.

Dating back to 1983, Sri Lanka have lost seven of 12 Tests played at the Asgiriya Stadium.

In the same time, they have won just twice, against Zimbabwe in January 1998 and then 20 months later - against Australia, of all people.

  Zimbabwe tour
21-24 December: Sri Lanka 'A' - venue tba
27-31 December: 1st Test, Colombo
4-8 January: 2nd Test, Galle
12-16 January: 3rd Test, Kandy
Against South Africa in July last year, the touring side scraped home by just seven runs.

Hoping to reverse the trend, Kandy will now host the third and final Test of each series.

The West Indies will open their campaign at Galle and play the second Test in Colombo before going to Kandy.

Zimbabwe are due to begin their series in Colombo. They will travel to Galle for the second Test and then to Kandy.

See also:

15 Jul 01 |  Corruption in Cricket
Sri Lankan duo cleared
20 Sep 01 |  Cricket
Teenager gets one-day call
26 Aug 01 |  Cricket
Batsmen to blame says Jayasuriya
08 Sep 01 |  Cricket
Sri Lanka clinch victory
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