Sri Lanka’s England tour risks IPL fury

July 9th, 2008 - 6:55 pm ICT by IANS  

London, July 9 (IANS) With England formally announcing the dates of their home-series against Sri Lanka Wednesday, the players from both the sides find themselves with a reduced opportunity to play in the second edition of Indian Premier League (IPL). The two-Test series will start May 7 next year and has put the Sri Lankan board in conflict with the IPL.

Several of Sri Lanka’s leading players, including Muttiah Muralitharan, Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene, have signed lucrative three-year deals with different franchises in the IPL. But the announcement of the England series will radically curtail their availability in the IPL’s second season which runs from April 10 to May 29.

It is the same scenario for the England team, several of whom are mulling over big-money IPL offers.

The dispute puts England and India on a potential collision course when they meet in London this week with the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) bound to seek urgent assurances that the Indian board restates their guarantee that international tours will always take precedence.

International Cricket Council (ICC) has already emphasised in Dubai last week, that it had been unanimously agreed by all Test nations that international cricket must take priority over club tournaments such as the IPL.

Sri Lanka’s tour of England has become the testing ground for that commitment, with the ECB expected to insist that IPL sides must withdraw offers to Sri Lanka players for the duration of the England

“It’s very likely there will be some England players in the IPL next season,” Ian Smith, legal director of the Professional Cricketers’ Association (PCA), was quoted as saying in England’s Daily Telegraph.

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