Television

England tour to Sri Lanka on despite political turmoil

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COLOMBO: Ten Sports can breathe a little easier for the moment. Michael Vaughan and his England cricket team will tour Sri Lanka from next week as per the schedule. There were concerns raised by the English Cricket Board (ECB) after the country was plunged into political chaos with the president declaring a state of emergency a few days ago.



The political temperature also eased today after Lankan President President Chandrika Kumaratunga withdrew the state of emergency.



England will arrive in Sri Lanka on 13 November. They will play three Test matches and as many one-day internationals. In India viewers can catch the same on Ten Sports. England will not change their plans unless of course the political unrest spills on to the ground like bomb blasts or riots.



England's fan followers known as the Barmy Army are also said to be undeterred. A Sri Lanka media report indicates that unlike the multitude of tourists around 5,000 of them are expected to follow the team to Sri Lanka.



In a column for BBC Sport Online former England wicket keeper Chris Read added, "As for the Sri Lanka situation, there is very little uncertainty as far as the England players are concerned. Obviously we've heard snippets of what's going on, but political happenings out there are totally out of our hands. We are there to play cricket."



Kumaratunga's action came a few hours after her bitter political rival Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, returned home from a visit to the US. Wickremesinghe, who received a tumultous welcome from his supporters, pledged to reopen parliament and revive the peace process with Tamil rebels.

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