Cricket Australia: Sri Lanka tour continues despite unrest

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MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Cricket Australia said Thursday its all-format tour of Sri Lanka is going ahead despite rising tensions over unrest in the South Asian island nation.

The Australian government has advised nationals to reconsider their need to travel to Sri Lanka following unrest following the resignation of Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa this week.

Australia’s cricketers will travel to Sri Lanka in June and July for three Twenty20 internationals, five one-day matches and two friendlies. At the same time, a tour of Australia through Sri Lanka is planned.

A spokesman for Cricket Australia said the sport’s governing body, the federal government and Sri Lankan cricket officials are “keeping a close eye” on developments in the country.

Cricket Australia said players and staff have been informed and with three weeks to go before the squad’s departure date “there are no changes to the schedule”.

On Wednesday, Sri Lanka’s president pledged to appoint a new prime minister, strengthen parliament and abolish the all-powerful executive presidential system, as reforms aimed at stabilizing a country mired in political and economic crisis.

In a televised address, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa said he condemned attacks on peaceful protesters by mobs who had come to support his brother and former Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, who resigned on Monday.

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