Sri Lanka slash budget, put Australia tour in doubt

June 28th, 2011 - 10:18 pm ICT by IANS  

Sydney, June 28 (IANS) Australia’s tour to Sri Lanka in August is in doubt after Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) trimmied its budget, specially the security bill which was slashed from $445,000 to just $81,000.

Though Sri Lankan Sports Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage assured that security would not be compromised, Cricket Australia (CA) is not taking any chances.

The Australian daily reported that a team from the CA and the Australian Cricketers Association (ACA) has returned from a pre-tour inspection in the past fortnight and was satisfied with the promised security arrangements, but is closely monitoring talk of cutbacks.

The CA said Monday night that it has received verbal assurances from the Sri Lankan board that the security for players and staff would not be affected.

The daily reported that “Australians were promised similar security arrangements to this year’s World Cup when they revisit Sri Lanka for the first Test tour since 2004 and will not travel if they are not provided.”

The CA and the ACA were waiting to see if Sri Lanka delivered on its promises when the memorandum of understanding is signed off in coming weeks.

“In our view, the details of the arrangements were appropriate. We haven’t received any advice since then and we will be speaking with them in due course as we always do. What they have promised is acceptable and we are not aware of any deviation. Last night we received assurances from Sri Lankan cricket that nothing had changed, and we are happy with that,” a CA spokesman was quoted as saying by the daily.

“Our longstanding policy remains the same, we don’t go anywhere unless we are satisfied it is appropriate to do so,” the spokesperson said.

ACA chief executive Paul Marsh said the agreement the CA and the ACA have with Sri Lanka is that the security measures for the upcoming tour will be comparable to those provided for the recent ICC World Cup games staged there.

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