Tournament Committee Chairman Bandula Dissanayake (left) with SLC CEO Ashley de Silva
- Domestic season (Super Eight and Plate) from 10 to 27 August
By Sa’adi Thawfeeq
Sri Lanka Cricket won a vote of confidence from its membership, who were supportive of the changes that were adopted at an Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) held at the SLC headquarters yesterday.
Due to the current COVID-19 situation in the country, the SLC sought amendments to the tournament structure by suspending the rules which would have applied to the 2019-20 season if not for the pandemic.
The changes adopted are to make the Major Club Tournament – Tier A matches from ‘4-day’ to ‘3-day’ which meant that “all matches in the Super 8 Round will be of 3-day duration, played with red balls and white clothing on turf wickets only and classified as First Class”.
The second amendment to the tournament structure is in the League section under Major Club Tournament – Tier A and B whereby relegation and promotion will be suspended for the season for 2019-20.
These changes in the tournament rules will be effective only for the 2019-20 season due to the present situation in the country.
Thus with the adoption of these changes it is hoped that the SLC can resume the domestic cricket tournament matches and play it to a finish.
The tournament was scheduled to resume on July 14, but ran into a snag as the changes to the rules of the tournament could not take place midway of a season but had to be adopted at an EGM.
With COVID-19 taking the upper hand all sports activities has been suspended and the country have been starved of cricket.
It is best that the SLC, now having got the green light from its membership, completes the Major Club Super Eight and Tier B matches before commencing any other tournament.
Tournament Committee Chairman Bandula Dissanayake said the tournament would resume on 10 August and tentatively finish off on 27 August, a day before the Lanka Premier League is due to commence.
“We will go ahead with the Major Club Super Eight and Plate matches but we haven’t decided on whether to play the Tier B matches,” said Dissanayake.
“All the neutral grounds to play the Tier A matches have been arranged by us and we have more control over the health regulations but the Tier B matches are played on their own grounds so we have no control. That is why we are waiting a little bit longer to see whether the situation eases. Probably by next week we will sit against and decide on whether we should go ahead with the Tier B matches,” he said.
But with there being no promotion or relegation this season will there be any interest amongst the clubs to play the Tier B matches?
“The interest will be much less but then we want to start playing cricket to show the world that everything is normal,” said Dissanayake. “I don’t know how much interest the clubs will have to continue because the new season (2020-21) will start probably in October. We will have to decide whether to wait these few months and to start anew or to continue.”