Sri Lankan players' involvement in the seventh edition of the Indian Premier League is likely to be curtailed after it was announced that the Lankans would play Ireland in a two-match one-day international series in May. The two sides will play each other for the first time in 35 years.
The matches, which will take place on May 6 and 8, falls right in between the IPL season. A number of Lankans like Lasith Malinga, Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene and Angelo Mathews have starred in the T20 league in the past.
Ireland will use the matches, to be played at Clontarf in Dublin, as part of their preparations for the World Cup.
"It's great news for both the team and supporters," Ireland coach Phil Simmons said on Friday.
"We'll be gearing our preparation towards the 2015 World Cup, and this series is ideal."
The Sri Lanka fixtures further underline the associate nation's growing status, although they are yet to beat a full-member nation in the 50-over format in Dublin.
"We'll be looking to take our cricket to the next level in 2014 by winning from these type of situations, pressing home our advantage when we're on top," Simmons said.
"It's a fantastic opportunity for our squad to face players of the calibre of Kumar Sangakkara, Angelo Matthews, Tillakaratne Dilshan and of course Lasith Malinga.
"They're going to be tough opposition but Irish conditions in May will be to our advantage."
(with AFP inputs)