Sri Lanka will split its tour of Pakistan to accomodate a hastily-scheduled one-day series against India in February,sources said in Karachi on Sunday.
Sources in the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) said talks were on to work out an arrangement under which Sri Lanka will tour Pakistan in the third week this month to first play five one-day internationals and a Twenty20 match.
They would then return for the one-day series against India and complete it by February 18 before coming back to play three Tests in Karachi.
“Obviously both the Pakistan and Sri Lankan boards want to make money out of their series and it is understandable the Lankans are keen to not lose the opportunity of playing against India,” a PCB source said.
The present scenario is a result of India cancelling a scheduled Test tour of Pakistan from January 4 to February 21 to play three Tests,five one-dayers and a Twenty20 game besides a side match.
“But the Indians’ cancellation of their Pakistan tour has left all three South Asian countries with a window to play in January and February,” the source said.
Even the PCB is not averse to a split tour but they need to convince Bangladesh to delay the one-day series between the two countries scheduled from March 3 to second week of the month.
“If Sri Lanka comes for the Test series around February 20,they would require at least 21 days to play three Test matches after which Pakistan can go to Bangladesh for the one-day series,” the PCB source said.
The BCCI has incurred a loss of Rs 120 crore because of cancellation of two ODIs against England and the tour to Pakistan in the wake of the terror attacks in Mumbai and is keen to recover some of the losses.
“We are discussing the possibility of playing a short series against Sri Lanka. We are working on an itinerary which will be acceptable to both the Boards”,a top BCCI official said.
“So far we have got a good response from Sri Lankan officials and we are hopeful that the series will materialise”,he said.
Sri Lanka’s Sports Minister Gamini Lokuge has also confirmed that he was discussing the series with the BCCI.
“We are about 60 per cent certain that we could arrange a series for the Sri Lanka team with India shortly. We have had successful discussions with the Indian Cricket Board and at the moment we are finalising the schedule,” Lokuge said.