Fuel shortages and economic issues are causing widespread protests in Sri Lanka, but Australia’s crickets will still travel there on Friday.
Australian players will head to Sri Lanka aware of the situation in the island nation but committed to travelling, with Test keeper Alex Carey revealing they had been in multiple meetings about the situation and he was confident in the security measures in place.
Carey is among the early travelling party preparing for six white-ball games, with the first T20 in Colombo on June 7, before the first of two Tests begins in Galle on June 29.
Amid ongoing turmoil in Sri Lanka, with the country short of fuel and medicines and struggling with rolling power cuts, Australia’s three Twenty20 and five one-day matches have already been moved to day games.
Australian Cricketers’ Association chief executive Todd Greenberg also recent admitted that players felt “a level of discomfort” about touring Sri Lanka in the current circumstances.
Carey will be among a group of players who will spend as much as six weeks navigating the issues in Sri Lanka but said he didn’t feel any concern about touring.
Instead, he hoped that international cricket could put “a bit of a smile” on the cricket-mad local faces.
“We’ve had a number of meetings leading in to the tour with full clarity of what’s going on,” Carey said on Monday.
“Once we hit the ground we will see with our own eyes. Personally, I don’t feel there is a concern to tour.
“We are always well looked after by CA, security, the information we are given, so it’s exciting to hopefully put a bit of a smile on the Sri Lankan faces.
“They are doing it tough from reports but hopefully some cricket will turn that around for them.”
Spinner Mitch Swepson, who, like Carey, toured Pakistan earlier this year without issue despite security concerns as Australia returned there for the first time since 1998, said he was well aware of the situation in Sri Lanka.
But he too was comfortable with security arrangements.
“We’ve heard about some stuff that’s been going on over there politically, but same as what was going on with Pakistan, we’ve had our security team briefing us pretty much weekly on what’s going on and keeping us up to date,” Swepson said.
“They’ve assured us that we’ll be safe over there and we’re just looking forward to the cricket really.”
Australia last toured Sri Lanka in 2016 and will play limited overs matches in Colombo and Kandy before playing two Test matches in Galle.