LNP – England in Sri Lanka: Mickey Arthur ’positive’ Joe Root’s side will travel

England captain Joe Root and his side left Sri Lanka in March, before the two-Test series could begin Sri Lanka coach Mickey Arthur says he is “really positive” about the prospect of England being able to tour in early 2021.

Two Tests scheduled to be played in March this year were postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“I’m hoping we can fulfil our fixtures in South Africa in December and then have England over here to start a really busy 2021,” said Arthur.

“Here in Sri Lanka there is a strong drive to get the game going.”

Sri Lanka have not played since a Twenty20 against West Indies on 6 March, while England were able to fulfil their summer schedule behind closed doors and in a bio-secure environment.

None of England’s winter fixtures have been confirmed, but there are plans for limited-overs matches in South Africa in November and a tour of India in February and March.

That would leave scope for the Sri Lanka Tests to take place in January, although Bangladesh have recently called off their tour over the Sri Lankan government’s requirement for visiting teams to quarantine for 14 days in hotels without the provision to train.

In the bio-secure bubble in England, teams were able to train while they served their quarantine period.

South African Arthur said: “We had two months of total lockdown – proper lockdown – meaning solitary confinement and the army outside patrolling the streets.

“But after all that we sit here in a country that is basically normalised.

“We need to get cricket up and running otherwise we may as well shut the whole thing down and wait for a vaccine.”

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