Cricket Australia is monitoring fast-growing unrest in Sri Lanka but remains confident next month’s tour of the country will go ahead as planned.
Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa resigned on Monday night, following months of protests after the nation was plunged into its worst economic crisis in decades.
His resignation followed an attack by government supporters on protesters, leading to a countrywide curfew and armed troops being deployed in the capital of Colombo.
According to Associated Press, a ruling party lawmaker and three other people died in the violence.
Australia’s men are due to arrive into Colombo in three weeks for the start of their tour, which includes three Twenty20s, five ODIs and two Tests between June 7 and July 12. They will spend 16 of those days in Colombo, where the current violence has unfolded.
CA officials had until this point been certain the tour would go ahead, and remain confident. Head of security Stuart Bailey completed a reconnaissance tour of the country last month in the midst of the economic crisis, and it was cleared as safe to visit.
CA officials will now start to monitor the situation more closely following Monday night’s violence, but are still confident the tour will proceed.
There is also a thought that Australia touring Sri Lanka, where there have been significant food shortages and power cuts, could assist economically.
The tour of Sri Lanka will begin a busy 18 months for the Australian team. It has been confirmed they will travel to India for three T20 matches before the home World Cup where they are defending champions, as well as host West Indies in a series in Australia.
A schedule for the home summer is also due out at the end of this month, and will include Test series against West Indies and South Africa.
Australia also have Test tours of India after the home series and an away Ashes next year, before a 50-over World Cup back in India later in 2023.
A make-up tour of South Africa also looms between the Ashes and ODI World Cup, after the three-Test series was postponed last year due to Covid-19. There is a chance that format could change to include at least some white-ball cricket, or potentially become limited-overs matches only in the lead-in to the World Cup.