Botham slams Sri Lanka plan to send second stringers to England

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London, Oct.11 : Former England fast bowler, Ian Botham has slammed Sri Lanka for planning to send a second string for the Test series in England next summer because 13 seniors will be released to play in the big-money Indian Premier League.

Beefy believes the decision will make the two Test series a farce. The Sun quoted him as saying: If I was totally honest, I feel it is a total waste of time. England has got the Ashes coming up and I think it is a bit of an insult to the English public to send a weakened side. It wasnt so long ago that England said they would send a weakened side to the ICC Champions Trophy and were threatened with a big fine. It seems maybe the authorities need to sit down and look at the congestion. I dont think England need to clutter up their itinerary unless Sri Lanka send a proper side," he added. Sri Lankas Sports Minister Gamini Lokuge has conceded the tour could be jeopardised by his decision to release their stars. He said: I told Sri Lanka Cricket to release the 13 IPL-contracted players and select a team with the remaining group of players, who are also equally talented, for the England tour. If there is any problem it should discussed and sorted out.

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