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Page last updated at 07:46 GMT, Friday, 5 September 2008 08:46 UK

Sri Lanka still plan England tour

Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene (left) and Dilhard Fernando
Captain Jayawardene (left) and Fernando may chose to play in the IPL instead of England

Sri Lanka Cricket say next year's tour of England will still go ahead despite player opposition to the scheduling.

The team are due to play two Tests and three one-day internationals in April and May of 2009 but those dates clash with the Indian Premier League.

But Sri Lanka Cricket interim committee chief Arjuna Ranatunga said: "We have a memorandum of understanding with England and we must honour that."

However, the players are meeting next week to discuss their concerns again.

Several top Sri Lanka players including captain Mahela Jayawardene, Kumar Sangakkara, Chaminda Vaas, Muttiah Muralitharan, Dilhara Fernando, Sanath Jayasuriya and Upal Tharanga have signed lucrative three-year deals to play in the Twenty20 IPL tournament.

If those players stick with the IPL then Sri Lanka may have to send a weakened squad to tour England.


On Monday, several players including Jayawardene and Sangakkara met sports minister Gamini Lokuge in the hope of having the tour called off.

The players have also contacted Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapakse, who is believed to be sympathetic to their cause and has asked Sri Lanka Cricket to find an alternative plan.

Lokuge is still trying to find a compromise and has scheduled another meeting with the players next week.

Sri Lanka accepted the invitation to tour England after the England and Wales Cricket Board severed sporting relations with Zimbabwe and cancelled their tour next summer.

see also
Sri Lanka put IPL above England
10 Jul 08 |  Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka agree to tour England
08 Jul 08 |  England
Pakistan keeps Champions Trophy
24 Jul 08 |  Cricket

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