Sri Lanka clinches 'Important' future tours
June 27, 2014

Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) who gave their support, though after a hesitance, to ICC’s “Big Three” plan have been rewarded richly with two profitable in-bound tours each by top members India,Australia and England according to the draft FTP (Future Tours Programme) that had been discussed at the ICC annual conference.

Most of the tours in the new FTP had been on the cards, but were in the danger of being scrapped due to international cricket politics as Sri Lanka which is one of the least influential members of the International Cricket Council (ICC) financially, were in danger of being sidelined despite the magnificent performances of the national team on the field.

It is no secret that the power wielded by the “Big Three” under the latest revamp of the ICC governance and financial models. These plans had been steamrolled into place a few months ago with all ten full members finally giving their approval to the changes.

It is also a well-known fact that only tours by the Big Three are capable of giving SLC or any other country profits from in-bound tours.

So, with onus now shifting towards financial clout t han the prowess on the field, SLC officials have been able t o clinch these “important” tours in the next ten-year cycle till 2023 and will no doubt have to re-negotiate the TV rights deal which had already been signed with Ten Sport. A top SLC official confessed that convincing Big Three was not an easy task, especially after Sri Lanka decided to abstain from voting when t he revamp proposals first came to the ICC table, but said their concerted efforts have finally succeeded.

Under the new FTP, India the obvious number one revenue earner will honour the full tour they had promised Sri Lanka earlier from the third week of July to August in 2017. India will play three Tests, five ODIs and one T20 International on this tour. India will arrive in March to play three Tests in 2020 and will go back for the Indian Premier League (IPL) which is scheduled for April and May that year before coming back to Sri Lanka in the third week of June to play five ODIs.

England have confirmed their tour in December this year which will consist of seven ODIs while their second tour would be in 2018 which will be long full tour starting on October 1 and will continue till November during which time they will play three Tests, five ODIs and one T20 International.

Australia’s first in-bound tour will start on July 10 in 2016 and will continue till September featuring three Tests, five Odis and two T20s.

England has agreed to honour the full t our t hat would be hosted by ECB in 2016 before another full tour in England in 2020.

According to the FTP, Sri Lanka would not get full tours in Australia for another five years and will play three full tours Down Under i n 2019, 2022 and 2024, but will also tour there for two ICC events early next year for the World Cup and in 2020 for ICC World T20. Australia are due here once in this period.

Sri Lanka are also scheduled to visit India three times for bi-lateral tours.

All ICC events will be hosted by Big Three, mainly India according to this FTP while the cash-rich Indian Premier League (IPL) has also got an official window.

Sri Lanka will host 23 cricket tours in they next ten years, though only the six tours with the Big Three countries will allow SLC to escape without a financial loss.

However, Sri Lanka’s next generation of promising cricketers could negate t he financial i mpact through performing brilliantly on the field.

However, if India are likely to offer hosting of some matches during future ICC tournaments to help SLC cope with t he financial situation.

Source: Daily Mirror - Sri Lanka

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