Sri Lankan players arriving late for the tough tour of England due to their involvement in the ongoing Indian Premier League may not be an ideal situation, but the interim coach Staurt Law is not reading too much into it.
After negotiations between the Sri Lankan Board (SLC) and the BCCI, the seven members of Sri Lanka's Test squad were allowed to play in the ongoing IPL, so they will make themselves available only for the second warm-up match of the tour of England on May 19-22 against England Lions at Derby. However, they will miss the opening tour match against Middlesex, starting from May 14.
The three-match Test series starts on May 26. "It could have been a little different. I would have loved them to be there for all practice games leading up to the first Test, but it's one of the situations that can't be avoided.
"But having said that it's not a case where the boys are not doing anything. They are playing a competitive tournament and they are involved. I understand the circumstances and it's well and good," Law was quoted as saying by 'The Island' newspaper.
"I am pretty relaxed with the situation. I don't want to make a song and dance about it. The IPL boys should be there for the second practice game and it's a great challenge for us against the second string England team.
"We don't need to practice, practice and practice. You've got to be smart about it and the important thing is to acclimatise and getting used to playing on different pitches," said Law, who has been appointed as the interim coach for the tour after compatriot Trevor Bayliss vacated the position following the team's runners-up finish in the World Cup last month.
The 42-year-old has good knowledge of English conditions, having played for three counties - Lancashire, Essex and Derbyshire - and Law said he is looking forward to the challenge.
"It's a step forward for me and a fantastic opportunity to be involved with one of the best teams in world cricket," said Law, who was appointed assistant to Bayliss in October 2009.
"Realistically playing England in England is going to be tough. Judging the performances on results will be unfair. But that's the way coaches are looked at these days. If you don't perform you are not up to the mark. There's risk, but lot of enjoyment as well," he said.
England will be formidable opponents, having regained the Ashes after beating Australia 3-1 Down Under, and Law feels Sri Lanka need to maintain consistency during the Test series.
"They are going to be tough to beat especially in England. They have beaten everyone who have come their way including Australia in Australia. They are a tough team and well drilled and they have been playing together for a long time now. It's a fantastic challenge for us and if we play consistently 15 days of Test cricket we should come out well," he added.