Colombo:Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) on Thursday sought to allay fears of its players on missing out of the lucrative Indian Premier League (IPL) next season because of England tour, with a top official claiming that the schedule of the proposed tour was yet to be finalised.
England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) yesterday announced the dates of two-Tests home series against Sri Lanka starting on May 7, which coincides with the IPL, scheduled between April 10 and May 29 next year.
This has angered the Lankan cricketers as it would upset their chance of earning big bucks from the cash-rich IPL, at a time when the players have reportedly threatened to boycott the home series against India later this month on account of contract dispute.
"We have not finalised any dates as yet for the tour of England to replace Zimbabwe. While some Sri Lankan players concentrate on five-day Tests, others are specialists One-day players. There should not be any problem," a top Sri Lankan cricket official said.
Meanwhile, some players of the Sri Lanka team on Thursday met President Mahinda Rajapakse to plead either to get the tour postponed or played after the IPL.
"The president has instructed the sports minister to ask the SLC interim committee to draw up alternative proposals," spokesman Lucien Rajakarunanayake said.
The tour was formalised between the ECB and SLC Chief Arjuna Ranatunga on the sidelines of the International Cricket Council meetings in Dubai earlier this month.
The IPL features at least 13 top Sri Lankans including captain Mahela Jayawardene and star spinner Muttiah Muralitharan.