ECB defends touring Sri Lanka during monsoon season


The England and Wales Cricket Board defended the decision to tour Sri Lanka during monsoon season, after a third successive one-day international was affected by rain.

The third ODI in Kandy, which England won by seven wickets, was delayed by six hours to become a 21-over game.

Only 15 overs were bowled in the series opener, while England won the second game when rain ended play early.

The ECB said it had “very little wriggle room” over dates for the tour.

A statement read: “After hosting England, Sri Lanka spend the rest of the 2018-19 season touring New Zealand, Australia and South Africa.

“They play their first match in New Zealand on 8 December, which left very little wriggle room given our final Test in Sri Lanka finishes on 29 November.”

The third ODI at the Pallekele International Stadium was due to start at 10:00 BST on Wednesday, but rain for much of the day meant play did not start until 15:45.

England restricted Sri Lanka to 150-9 before Eoin Morgan’s unbeaten 58 helped seal victory with 15 balls to spare to take a 2-0 lead in the five-match series.

All five of England’s matches on this tour have been affected by the weather.

The first warm-up game was cut short and the second was washed out without a ball being bowled.

England’s tour, which also features a Twenty20 and three Tests, runs from 5 October to 27 November.

One of four monsoon seasons in Sri Lanka takes place between October and November, according to the Department of Meteorology in Sri Lanka.

It says “the whole country experiences strong winds with widespread rain, sometimes leading to floods and landslides” during this period.

Opposing boards agree dates for tours, based on the schedule set out in the International Cricket Council’s Future Tours Programme.

The fourth ODI takes place in Kandy at 05:15 BST on Sunday. The final match in Colombo on 23 October has a reserve day scheduled on 24 October.

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BBC Sport – Cricket

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