India will not tour Sri Lanka for the scheduled three ODIs and as many T20Is in June as Sri Lanka Cricket had hoped, but the boards are still working towards playing that series in August. This is according to an SLC official, who confirmed that although the BCCI is not ready to send a team just yet (in light of the Covid-19 pandemic), the SLC was working on getting official governmental approval for the series to take place in a couple of months.
If the tour is to go ahead in August, Sri Lanka’s government would have to make assurances directly to India’s government, as well as put a medical plan in place to ensure the safety of visiting players. But those plans are far from coming to fruition. What’s certain for now is that the series will not take place this month.
“The India national team tour of Sri Lanka, which was scheduled to take place during the month of June, 2020 will not go ahead, as scheduled,” SLC said in a media release on Thursday. “The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) informed Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) that due to the prevailing circumstances revolving around Covid-19 pandemic, the cricket series, which included three ODIs and three T20I matches will not be feasible.”
According to that same SLC release, the BCCI “remains committed to the FTP and towards its fellow members, it will have to seek the advice from Government of India and the health regulatory authorities before taking any decision for the resumption of cricket”.
Sri Lanka has so far avoided substantial community transmission of Covid-19, with only 708 active cases in the country at present. The government has also said that almost all recent cases have come out of quarantine centres. There have been only 11 confirmed Covid-19 deaths so far in the country, which is why SLC is pushing so hard to re-start cricket. Last week, a 12-man squad, largely consisting of bowlers, began a residential training camp in Colombo. Provided Covid-19 remains under control in Sri Lanka, there are plans to ramp up training over the next few weeks.
The next series on Sri Lanka’s schedule was a home Test series against Bangladesh, originally due to be played in July. SLC is pushing for that tour to go ahead as well, but is yet to get a firm word from the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB).