ECB defends tour scheduling amid washout threat

The ECB defended the schedule for England's tour of Sri Lanka after another match was affected by the rain.

The launch of the third ODI in Pallekele on Wednesday was delayed more than five and a half hours. , which means that all three games in the series have been affected by the weather. The first ODI was completely lost to the rain, while the second was decided by the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern method when the rain ended with Sri Lanka's response after 29 passes.

Both England warm-up matches were also affected by the rain, with One of them leaving without a ball being thrown. There is no guarantee that the weather has improved when the Test series begins on November 6.

With the scheduled tour for the monsoon season in Sri Lanka, such a scenario was terribly predictable. But the ECB has insisted that, such are the demands of the list of international matches, he had no choice but to agree to play "outside the preparation periods of the first level matches".

"With regard to traveling Sri Lanka at this time of year: The Future Tours Program is congested and involves 13 Boards whose schedules are interconnected, so unfortunately there are a series of tours that have to be done outside the periods of the parties, "the ECB said in a tweeted statement from its @Englandcricket account.

"After hosting England, Sri Lanka spent the rest of the season & # 39; 18 -19 touring New Zealand, Australia, and South Africa, playing their first match in New Zealand on December 8, which left very little space for maneuver given our final test in Sri Lanka ends on November 29. "

Although those dates are not very precise, the final test will end, if it lasts five days, on November 27, the point is valid. The first Test of Sri Lanka tour in New Zealand begins on December 14 and, within 13 days after the end of that series, they begin another one in Australia, at which time they expect to play a warm-up match. Then, eight days after the scheduled end of that series on February 5, they are scheduled to begin a Test in Durban.

The best periods to play cricket in Sri Lanka are from mid-December to mid-March and until mid-March. June to the end of September. But with England not available in the second window, as it collides with its local international season and Sri Lanka participated in series in other parts of the previous window, the choice was reduced to not doing any tour, at least for a couple of years, or bet with the weather. Because boards with cash shortages wanted to make the most of every opportunity to sell broadcast rights, they opted for the last option.

It remains to be seen if it is a long-term sustainable strategy. Watching games so badly affected by the rain may do little to sustain the value of such broadcast offers, while viewers, some of whom have spent thousands of pounds to travel, may also be unlikely to return.

Skandha Ponniah, marketing manager of Red Dot Tours, a company specializing in holidays in Sri Lanka, said: "Sri Lanka has two periods of monsoon and a monsoon with each other and different parts of the island suffer heavy rains at different times of the year.

"However, due to the high risk of rain, only May is a less popular month for our tourists than October, which tells its own story in regards to cricket."


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