Financially-challenged CWI asks SLC help to host home series

Cricket West Indies may scrap one Test from Sri Lanka’s tour next month in favour of limited-overs internationals, according to Sri Lanka Cricket.

The teams were due to play three Tests only, including the Caribbean’s first day-night Test, but only a week out from Sri Lanka’s departure, SLC said it had been informed by CWI that financial concerns may force a change to the itinerary.

ESPNcricinfo understands that CWI informed SLC of the costs of hosting Sri Lanka and discussed whether they would be willing to make any contribution to ensure the tour goes ahead as planned.

“CWI are experiencing a really challenging financial year as they only have home series scheduled against us and Bangladesh,” SLC CEO Ashley de Silva said. “They have been talking to us about sharing the costs of the tour and at this stage they haven’t given us any indication that the tour might get postponed altogether.”

Although CWI are not exactly planning to cut down any games form the itinerary at this stage, de Silva did not rule out the possibility. “Most probably the boards will reduce the number of Test matches to two, and play a couple of one-dayers,” he said. “CWI are going through a bit of a crisis. They have been talking to us.”

Both teams have small home audiences and the operational expenses outweigh the money earned from broadcast deals and sponsorships. Limited-overs games, meanwhile, are more attractive to broadcasters and are less expensive to host.

Although many smaller nations struggle to sustain Tests against other small nations, Tests between these two sides – particularly those scheduled in the Caribbean – have been especially vulnerable. A three-Test series in 2013 had also been scrapped, in favour of an ODI tri-series featuring India, on that occasion.

SLC expects CWI to confirm the new itinerary early next week. Sri Lanka’s tour was supposed to start with a three-day practice match beginning on May 30, in Trinidad. The first Test was scheduled for June 6.

Source: ESPN CricInfo

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