Tuesday, July 8, 2008

ECB name Sri Lanka as Zimbabwe replacement

England will host Sri Lanka for two Tests and three ODIs in April and May next year. Sri Lanka's tour slots in the fixture gap caused by England's decision to suspend bilateral ties with Zimbabwe and the cancellation of their 2009 visit.

David Collier, the ECB chief executive, was pleased with Sri Lankan's willingness to step in and ensure England will have a competitive series ahead of the Ashes later in the summer.

"The strong and close relationship which we built up during our recent winter tours to Sri Lanka allowed the ECB, at short notice, to be able to approach Sri Lanka and confirm their availability for the international matches in the early part of next summer,"

he said.

The ECB cancelled Zimbabwe's tour last month, minutes after Gordon Brown, the prime minister, told the House of Commons that he wanted the tour scrapped. The ban on a team from Zimbabwe entering the country also put in doubt England's hosting of next year's World Twenty20 next year, but as of now the issue has been resolved with Zimbabwe pulling out of the event.

Sri Lanka play three three-day games ahead of the Tests series, followed by a warm-up one-dayer before the ODI series.

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