India agrees to play five ODIs in Sri Lanka (Second Lead)

January 13th, 2009 - 4:40 pm ICT by IANS  

Colombo, Jan 13 (IANS) The Indian cricket team will play five One-Day Internationals (ODI) and a Twenty20 match against Sri Lanka in Colombo in January-February. The decision was taken at a meeting here Tuesday between the officials of Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) led by secretary N. Srinivasan and Sri Lanka’s sports minister Gamini Lokuge.

“We are very happy that BCCI has agreed to our request to play five ODIs and a Twenty20 here later this month. The detailed itinerary will be released shortly,” Minister Lokuge told reporters at the Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) headquarters.

“In future we are going to be with the BCCI. We have decided to allow our players to play in the forthcoming Indian Premier League (IPL),” Lokuge said, adding that a 10-year agreement has been signed with the IPL.

Lokuge said that the SLC will follow BCCI stand on the rebel Indian Cricket League.

Srinivasan said that the BCCI was grateful to Sri Lanka for releasing its players for the IPL tournament and also thanked the SLC for adopting a tough stance towards the ICL.

The BCCI badly wanted the Sri Lanka series to offset the losses to the tune of $25 million from the scrapping of the last two ODIs against England, a tour to Pakistan in the wake of the terror attack in Mumbai and the postponement of the Champions Trophy in Pakistan.

But Srinivasan said: “We are not coming here with the intention of making money, but to honour the request of our friendly neighbour. There was no truth in those perceptions. We respect the sovereignty of the SLC as much as we respect the sovereignty of the BCCI. We have no right to intervene in the internal affairs of the SLC.”

The Indian government refused permission for the tour to Pakistan in view of the strained bilateral relations and the Indian cricket team does not have an international commitment until the tour of New Zealand in March.

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) had invited Sri Lanka to fill in for the cancelled India tour and the island nation agreed on the condition that between the three Tests and the five ODIs they will return home to host India. The Pakistan tour is scheduled from Jan 20.

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