Colombo: Australia have agreed to play two extra ODIs on next year’s tour of Sri Lanka to help ease the host board’s financial crisis, Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) said on Thursday.
The world champions were scheduled to play three ODIs during their six-week tour of the island in February and March, but this has been increased to five after a request from the Sri Lankan board.
The SLC announced a $900,000 loss in the last financial year and officials said the two extra matches would raise $800,000.
“Australia understood our financial position and it was very decent of them to agree to this request,” Mohan de Silva, the secretary of the SLC, said. In return, Sri Lanka have agreed to play Test matches against Australia in Darwin and Cairns next year.
“We have now also agreed to visit next June and July to play in the Northern Territories,” added de Silva.
The Sri Lankan board faces an uncertain financial future because of falling revenues and an unresolved $11 million damages claim in Singapore.
WSG Nimbus, a sports rights broker and broadcaster, is suing the SLC for the sudden cancellation of a three-year broadcasting contract in 2001. A Singapore tribunal ruled in June that WSG Nimbus were due damages after the “wrongful termination” of their $27.1 million contract.
On Tuesday SLC ended another television dispute when they signed a one-tour contract with Taj Television, a Dubai-based broadcaster, for England’s tour of Sri Lanka next month.
Feb. 20: 1st ODI (Dambulla, d/n) l Feb. 22: 2nd ODI (Dambulla, d/n)
Feb. 25: 3rd ODI (Colombo, d/n) l Feb. 27: 4th ODI (Colombo, d/n) l Feb. 29: 5th ODI (Colombo)
March 8-12: 1st Test (Galle)
March 16-20: 2nd Test (Kandy)
March 24-28: 3rd Test (Colombo).