The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) on Friday (June 6) announced the itinerary for England’s seven-match One-day International tour of Sri Lanka in November and December 2014, for a series that will be part of their preparations for the 2015 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.
Two warm-up matches will be played in Colombo on November 21 and 23, before the first ODI, also in Colombo, on November 26. The teams will proceed to Hambantota for the third ODI, while the fifth and sixth matches will take place in Pallekelle. The series will return to Colombo for the tour-ending final ODI.
The itinerary was announced just days after Sri Lanka had beaten England by six wickets to seal a five-match ODI series 3-2 at Edgbaston on Tuesday, in a match marred by a ‘Mankading’ controversy.
The incident took place when Sachithra Senanayake ran out Jos Buttler at the non-striker’s end after the batsman had backed up too far despite prior warning from the Sri Lankans. Angelo Mathews, the Sri Lanka captain, upheld the appeal, and Buttler, who had hit England’s fastest ODI century in the fourth ODI at Lord’s, was dismissed for 21.
It set in motion further debates on the Spirit of Cricket, with Alastair Cook, the England captain, stating that Sri Lanka had “crossed the line”. He also admitted the incident would “spice up” the forthcoming two-match Test series between the teams, beginning at Lord’s on June 12.
Lahiru Thirimanne, however, said Sri Lanka would have no qualms of ‘Mankading’ England batsmen in the Tests, if they continued backing up too far. He said: “If he’s taking unfair starts, we’ll warn him, warn twice and after that…”
Itinerary for England’s ODI Tour of Sri Lanka:
November 21: England XI v Sri Lanka A (Day), 1st warm-up match, Colombo
November 23: England XI v Sri Lanka A (Day), 2nd warm-up match, Colombo
November 26: England v Sri Lanka (D/N), 1st ODI, Colombo
November 29: England v Sri Lanka (Day), 2nd ODI, Colombo
December 03: England v Sri Lanka (D/N), 3rd ODI, Hambantota*
December 06: England v Sri Lanka (Day), 4th ODI, Colombo
December 10: England v Sri Lanka (D/N), 5th ODI, Pallekelle
December 13: England v Sri Lanka (Day), 6th ODI, Pallekelle
December 16: England v Sri Lanka (D/N), 7th ODI, Colombo*
* denotes absence of reserve day