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Cricket Ireland hit by new blow as Sri Lanka opt out of Test


Kevin O'Brien
Kevin O'Brien

By Ian Callender

Ireland suffered another setback yesterday when Sri Lanka postponed the scheduled Test match in Galle in February.

The announcement comes just two days after Cricket Ireland called off their only Test match next summer against Bangladesh, because of financial constraints, and leaves Ireland with only one Test next year, against Zimbabwe in April, and that has still to be confirmed.

Sri Lanka, who receive £16million a year from ICC, more than three times that of Cricket Ireland, claimed they had to take the decision because the match was not part of the broadcast agreement which was signed in 2013, "when Ireland were not a Full Member country".

They say that the game will be rescheduled under the next broadcast agreement which Sri Lanka Cricket is planning to sign next year.

However, it does not explain why the match, where the date (February 8-12) and venue had been confirmed with Cricket Ireland, was postponed so late. It has been in the Future Tours Programme since June 2018.

Ireland enjoyed a memorable inaugural Test against Pakistan - when Kevin O'Brien hit Ireland's first Test century - which had an exciting last day, and after a four-day defeat to Afghanistan in India, they enjoyed the highs and lows of a Lord's Test against England in July.

But the wait for a fourth Test match goes on.

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