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Team For Sri Lanka On Hold Until Itinerary Confirmed

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Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Team For Sri Lanka On Hold Until Itinerary Confirmed

Auckland, July 3 NZPA - New Zealand Cricket (NZC) has delayed the naming of their squad to tour Sri Lanka next month until the tour and itinerary is rubberstamped.

The team -- and a New Zealand A squad for India -- was due to be revealed today but NZC now expect to announce the names on Tuesday.

Although an itinerary has been published on cricket website cricinfo.com for several weeks, NZC general manager Geoff Allott is yet to confirm the fixtures.

It is possible New Zealand are trying to tweak the schedule to allow test players optimum time in India to acclimatise to subcontinent conditions.

The difficulty with the current itinerary is the two tests precede the five one-day internationals, meaning the test specialists will barely have played before they arrive in Colombo.

New Zealand's most recent test series was a 0-2 loss to India in April.

In contrast, Sri Lanka are currently hosting Pakistan, a clear advantage in terms of preparation for the longer format.

However, short of moving the ODIs to the start of the tour, there seems little scope for significant change.

The tour is scheduled to start on August 13 with a three-day game against a local selection and end with the second and final Twenty20 match on September 19.

The tour cannot be lengthened as both sides have to leave promptly for the Champions Trophy in South Africa.

Allott and New Zealand Cricket Players Association boss Heath Mills are currently in Sri Lanka, where they are assessing security arrangements.

Although New Zealand tours to Sri Lanka have been disrupted by bomb blasts in 1987 and 1993, it is unlikely the tour is in jeopardy given the country's long-running civil war is considered over.

The composition of the squads should be straightforward, the main talking point being Shane Bond's return to international duty.

The fast bowler is likely to be included in the A side to play two-day matches in India before he crosses to Sri Lanka for the limited overs series.


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