Sri Lanka committed to tour England in May next

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Colombo, Sep 5 (UNI) Despite the dates clashing with a cash rich Indian Premier League (IPL), Sri Lanka's cricket tour of England will go ahead as planned next year.

''We have a memorandum of understanding with the England and Wales Cricket Board for the tour and we must honour that,'' Sri Lanka Cricket chief Arjuna Ranatunga said.

After a visit by Zimbabwean cricketers to England was cancelled on the advice of the British government, the hastily arranged tour of two Tests and three one-dayers in May next year was arranged.

Sri Lankan players like skipper Mahela Jayawardene, Muttiah Muralitharan, Sanath Jayasuriya and Kumar Sangakkara opposed the tour as they want to play in the second leg of the lucrative IPL in April-May.

The players argued their IPL contracts were signed before the England tour was finalised, and said they stood to lose thousands of dollars if they did not take part in the Twenty20 tournament.

However, Ranatunga, the former Sri Lankan World Cup-winning captain, said his body would honour the commitment made to England in July.

Whereas, the sources in the Sri Lankan sports ministry said the government wanted a compromise by which players can take part in the IPL and also play in the England series.

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