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Colombo, March 14 – Sri Lanka’s desire to play more Test cricket received a boost on Tuesday as Ireland’s next month’s visit to the island nation will now include two Test matches instead of ODIs.
The tour was recently scheduled to consist of one Test match and two ODIs, but both teams agreed to play a second five-match encounter and skip the 50-over games.
“The decision to play two test matches instead of one test match and two ODIs, as planned earlier, was taken mutually following discussions held between Sri Lanka Cricket and Cricket Ireland,” the Sri Lankan cricket board said in a statement.
Notbaly, Sri Lanka are currently in New Zealand for their two-match series against the Black Caps and on Monday had their faint hopes of reaching this year’s ICC World Test Championship final dashed when they fell to a thrilling final-over loss to the Kiwis.
The Ireland team will arrive in Sri Lanka on April 9. While the visit of Ireland will not be a part of the World Test Championship, it will provide Sri Lanka with some excellent practice ahead of the next World Test Championship period.
The five-day matches will also be important for Ireland, who have played just three Test matches in total over the last six years.
Their next three will now come in the space of two months, with Ireland travelling to Sri Lanka for two Tests and then taking on England in a one-off Test at the start of June.
Both Test matches between Sri Lanka and Ireland will be held at the Galle International Cricket Stadium, with the first contest commencing on April 16 and the second from April 24.