Tillakaratne Dilshan, Sri Lanka's newly-appointed captain, will leave the IPL early and join the national squad in England on May 11, three days ahead of the first tour game against Middlesex. The decision was reached after negotiations between the BCCI and Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) in the last week.
"He will be there on May 11," Nishantha Ranatunga, the SLC secretary, said, confirming the news.
The early departure will mean Dilshan will miss his franchise Royal Challengers Bangalore's last four league matches, as well as the knockouts, if they get that far. He will be available for Bangalore's two home games on May 6 and May 8. His form in the IPL so far has been poor; he has scored only 120 runs in seven innings at a strike-rate of 103.44.
The development was positive as far as Dilshan was concerned after he had expressed a strong desire to arrive in England early for his first assignment as Test captain. Dilshan wanted to spend time with the rest of the squad, as well as the new coach Stuart Law, appointed in an interim position for the England tour after Trevor Bayliss' contract came to an end with the World Cup.
Five Sri Lanka players will stay on in the IPL and miss the Middlesex game. The board called in Farveez Maharoof and wicketkeeper Kaushal Silva to provide cover for them. Nuwan Pradeep, the fast bowler who has not yet played for Bangalore in the IPL, is also expected to arrive early in England.