After the third ODI between Sri Lanka and England on Wednesday in Pallekele, was reduced to 21 overs-a-side due to rainfall, England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) defended the scheduling of the series. All the three matches in the 5-ODIs series so far have been affected by rain, with the first ODI getting completely washed out only after 15 overs were bowled. The 2nd ODI was also decided via Duckworth-Lewis-Stern method due to rain. Prior to the start of the series, both of England’s warm-up matches were affected by rain.
But ECB, in a statement, insisted that they had little choice to schedule the series in the monsoon season due to demands of international fixture list. “In respect of touring Sri Lanka at this time of year: The Future Tours Programme is congested involving 13 Boards whose schedules all interconnect, so there are unfortunately a number of tours that have to take place outside prime match-staging periods,” the ECB statement said in a statement tweeted from their official Twitter account.
“After hosting England, Sri Lanka spend the rest of the ’18-19 season touring New Zealand, Australia & South Africa. They play their first match in New Zealand on Dec 8, which left very little wriggle room given our final Test in Sri Lanka finishes on Nov 29,” the statement added.
England chased down Sri Lanka’s 151-run target with 7 wickets in hand in the 19th over, to take a 2-0 lead in the series. The 4th ODI will be played on Saturday at Pallekele.