Image courtesy of: SuperSport
England have only lost one Test match since the May Tests began in 2000
The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has abandoned its traditional May Test matches, which has been going on since 2000, after deciding to move the national team’s two-Test series against Sri Lanka to June 2014 instead.
The ECB decided to move the Test series as this will allow both the English and Sri Lankan players the opportunity to participate in a full season of the Indian Premier League (IPL).
This could have been a major problem if three Tests were being played, as it was originally scheduled to be the Future Tours Programme (FTP).
However, Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) and the ECB agreed to remove one Test in order to allow players like Kevin Pietersen and Thisara Perera to represent their respective IPL franchises for a full season instead of leaving halfway through the tournament.
The last time Sri Lanka toured England, which happened in 2011, five players, including Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene, were not available for the first warm-up match due to their IPL commitments.
The same situation arose this year when New Zealand toured England as Brendon McCullum and Ross Taylor both arrived late.
The IPL is scheduled to start later on next year, due to the World Twenty20, and will conclude in early June, which means that the tournament’s dates may clash with England and Sri Lanka’s limited overs series.
Ever since the May Tests were introduced back in 2000, touring nations have found it difficult to get accustomed to the conditions, which is why England have only ever lost one Test, which came against Pakistan in 2001, in the 13 years the tradition has been going on.