By Bipin Dani
Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC), in an attempt to improve the domestic structure in the country, is likely to restrict the number of ‘A’ Division Teams to 10 instead of 14 commencing from the 2019/20 Inter-Club cricket season.
“To increase the level of competition among the ‘A’ Division Teams, this will be done,” Minister of Sports Harin Fernando explained yesterday.
The Sports Minister further noted that only the top 10 teams would be granted premier status and the rest of the clubs need to compete in order to reach the top.
“We will withdraw the premier status for all 24 clubs. Only the top 10 teams will get premier status and the bottom 14 teams will need to compete to come on top.”
“Every two years these clubs would get promoted and the rest of the teams would be demoted,” the Sports Minister, elaborated.
Meanwhile, Fielding Coach Steve Rixon said that he would not return to Colombo to Coach the Sri Lankan Team after the ICC Cricket World Cup in England.
The 65-year-old former Australian wicket-keeper batsman has already returned to Sydney. In fact, Rixon’s appointment was till the World Cup and he is not seeking further extension.”I am definitely not joining the Sri Lankan Team in Colombo. There are certain reasons,” he said without elaborating further.
“I have been coaching for quite some time and now I need break. I will not join any other National Team or the Leagues,” he added.
Manoj Abeywickrama, who was in England assisting Rixon, may be asked to continue for the home ODI series against Bangladesh.
In addition, Sri Lanka’s Batting Coach, Jon Lewis, whose contract was also till the World Cup is unlikely to return.