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India agree to double games for Lanka series

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The Indian cricket team were to play only three matches in Sri Lanka but agreed to double the number of games to six to help Sri Lanka Cricket make up for losses suffered as a result of cancelled tours due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

"India agreed to double the number of matches in their upcoming tour and this means we will get more revenue from television rights," said Shammi Silva, who was re-elected SLC president on Thursday.

He added that Sri Lanka will also request other visiting teams to play extra matches in a bid to increase television revenues.

India were to play three T20Is in Sri Lanka but are now also playing three ODIs. The series begins on July 13 with Colombo as the likely venue. Apart from India, Sri Lanka are also scheduled to host South Africa in August, Scotland in September and Afghanistan in November. 

The Sri Lanka cricket team is currently touring Bangladesh for a series of three ODIs beginning on Sunday.

Sri Lanka will be facing a second-string India side coached by Rahul Dravid as the first team led by Virat Kohli will be in England for the World Test Championship final against New Zealand in June and the subsequent five-match Test series against the hosts starting in August.

Although Virat Kohli’s men do not have playing obligations in July, quarantine restrictions mean it will not be feasible for them to shuttle between England and Sri Lanka in the available gap.

It is not clear yet who will lead India to Sri Lanka although veteran opener Shikhar Dhawan is being spoken of as a probable candidate.

Sri Lanka is also among the possible venues to stage the remainder of this season of the Indian T20 League, postponed earlier this month after multiple franchises’ bio-bubbles were breached in India. Of the scheduled 60 games, 31 are still to be played.

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