Sri Lanka Cricket on Tuesday demanded that the country’s players competing in the ongoing Indian Premier League return home immediately to start preparing for next month’s tour of England.
Recently hit by Kumar Sangakkara’s resignations from the limited-overs captaincy, Mahela Jayawardene’s decision to relinquish the vice-captaincy and the abrupt exit of their entire board of selectors, the losing World Cup finalists are in the middle of a tumultuous patch and Tuesday’s announcement comes as somewhat of a knee-jerk reaction.
“In future, national cricket players can participate in foreign tournaments only in a manner that will not affect practices of the Sri Lankan national team,” Sri Lanka Cricket said in a statement, adding that those selected for the three-Test series against the English must head back to the island nation for practice despite their participation in the lucrative Twenty20 tournament.
Deccan Chargers skipper Sangakkara, Kochi captain Jayawardene, Mumbai recruit Lasith Malinga, Bangalore batsman Tillakaratne Dilshan, Chennai spinner Suraj Randiv, all likely to be selected for the tour of England, are among 11 Sri Lankans currently in India.
The statement did not reveal how players will be penalised if they did not attend practices as required under the sports ministry’s new command, but official sources suggested they could potentially be dropped. Cricket365