Sri Lanka-India series set to begin on July 18, says BCCI secretary Jay Shah


New set of dates for ODIs and T20Is yet to be announced officially

India’s limited-overs series against Sri Lanka has been pushed back by five days from its original schedule, with BCCI secretary Jay Shah confirming to ANI that the series is set to begin “by July 18”.

According to PTI, the three ODIs will now be held on July 18, 20 and 23 at the Premadasa Stadium followed by the T20Is, starting on July 25.

The Covid-19 cases in the Sri Lankan camp is the reason for the postponement. On Friday, SLC had proposed a new schedule to the BCCI, that had the ODIs rescheduled to July 17, 19 and 21, with the T20I leg starting on July 24. The boards haven’t made an official announcement yet.

SLC has put together two squads, one group isolating in Colombo and another in Dambulla, as part of their contingency measure to ensure the series goes ahead.

Meanwhile, players currently in Colombo have been forced to isolate for two more days after batting coach Grant Flower and data analyst GT Niroshan tested positive for the Delta variant of the virus on Thursday and Friday, respectively. This extended isolation period would have left Sri Lanka with no outdoor session before the first ODI had the series begun on July 13.
The Sri Lankan team returned home from England after a short limited-overs tour early last week. The series postponement is the latest issue SLC has to grapple with, even as they abruptly announced captaincy switch from Kusal Perera to Dasun Shanaka on the back of a messy contracts stand-off between the players and the board.

More to follow…

Shashank Kishore is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo