Sri Lanka was starved of first-class cricket because of the political disturbances and unrest at home. The Sri Lankan Board, originally awarded a three-Test series until the Australian Board reduced it to a single Test to be held at the new Test venue of Hobart, complained that they could not develop without playing Test matches - and reminded Australia it had supported their elevation to Test cricket in 1981. Australia's Board, despite the likely financial loss, relented and arranged a second Test at Brisbane.
This was Sri Lanka's fourth tour of Australia and the longest to date with 27 matches in a hastily-rearranged schedule to which the Sri Lankans reluctantly agreed.
Ian Pieris, President of Sri Lanka's Board for Control, resigned his post when the Minister of Sports, Nanda Matthew, would not agree to Messrs Fuard and Fernando's appointments as officials for the tour. The Minister had wanted three names submitted for each post but the Board would not comply.
Former captain Madugalle was dropped from the Sri Lankan squad, so Arjuna Ranatunga became captain for the Nehru Cup and retained the job for the Australian tour.
Aravinda de Silva, acting captain in the match against Tasmania, was involved in a scuffle with the Tasmanian bowler Rod Tucker, for which he late apologised. The last minutes of the second Test match at Hobart were also spoiled by an unpleasant argument between Healy and Ratnayeke. After the match Ranatunga lodged an official protest about Australian sledging, saying racist comments had been made to his young batsmen, but he would not substantiate his allegations so nothing could be done about it.
Spin bowlers: Ranjith Madurasinghe, Asoka de Silva
Fast bowlers: Champaka Ramanayake, Graeme Labrooy, Kapila Wijegunawardene, Ravi Ratnayeke, Rumesh Ratnayeke
E A R de Silva
P A de Silva
A P Gurusinha
S T Jayasuriya
G F Labrooy
A W R Madurasinghe
R S Mahanama
C P H Ramanayake
J Ravi Ratnayeke
Rumesh J Ratnayeke
M A R Samarasekara
H P Tillekeratne
A G D Wickremasinghe
K I W Wijegunawardene
Average age ofteam at time of first Test match
(8 December 1989) :
25 yrs10 months
Representation of clubs :
CCC: Colombo (5)
Ku: Kurunegala Youth (1)
NCC: Nondescripts (6)
SSC: Sinhalese Sports Club (3)
TU: Tamil Union (1)
Key to type :
LHB left-hand bat,
LBG leg break and googly bowler,
OB off break,
SLAslow left-arm bowler,
RFM right arm fast medium bowler
Test Appearances made before the tour
A Ranatunga 24, Ravi Ratnayeke 20, PA de Silva 15, Rumesh Ratnayeke 14, Gurusinha 7, Asoka de Silva 5, Mahanama 4, Kuruppu 3, Labrooy 3, Ramanayeke 2, Madurasinghe 1, Samarasekera 1, Jayasuriya 0, Kalpage 0, D Ranatunga 0, Tillekeratne 0, Wickremasinghe 0, Wijegunawardene 0.
The Board's Executive Committee appointed Abu Fuard and Ranjith Fernando as the management team in September 1989. When their names were not approved by the Sports Ministry they informed the Cricket Board they were no longer available.The Committee met again on 29 October and agreed on the choice of Seneratne and Polonowita.
Nisal Seneratne was the Sri Lankan Board secretary in two spells of three years each. He was team manager in England when Test status was gained in 1981 and again in the 1987 World Cup.
Anura Tennekoon (chairman),Ranjith Fernando,Michael Tissera and Mumtaz Yusuf.
Ranatunga was announced as captain on 2 November.
Tour Party Announced : 6 November 1989.
Not selected :Duleep Mendis
Stand-bys:Ashley de Silva (CCC),Brendon Kuruppu (BRC),Ruwan Kalpage (NCC),Nilantha Ratnayeke (SSC).
Time between selection and departure from Sri Lanka
(6 to 13 November)
Sri Lankan participation in the Nehru Cup ended on 27 October and they returned to Sri Lanka on 1 November.
The touring party flew from Colombo via Singapore on the morning of Monday 13 November and arrived in Canberra on Tuesday 14 November.
Time spent in Australia
(14 November - depart Host)
On-tour selection panel
R S Kalpage
Ruwan S Kalpageand Nilantha Ratnayeke, a fast-medium bowler on a scholarship from the Sri Lankan Cricket Foundation to play grade cricket in Melbourne, joined the team to play against the Australian Academy at Adelaide.
Brendon Kuruppu (BRC), 27, was brought in for the later stages of the one-day series.
New South Wales
Lostinns 3 r
Victoria Country XI
Australia (1st ODI)
Australia (2nd ODI)
Pakistan (3rd ODI)
Australia (4th ODI)
� Port Lincoln
S Australia Country XI
Australian Country XI
� Coff's Harbour
New South Wales
NSW Country XI
Queensland Country XI
W Australia Country XI
Pakistan (5th ODI)
Pakistan (6th ODI)
Pakistan (7th ODI)
Australia (8th ODI)
� not first-class
Time spent in Australia before First Test:
(14 November - 8 December)
Test appearances on tour
2 -Aravinda de Silva, Asoka de Silva, Gurusinha, Labrooy, Mahanama, Ramanayake, Arjuna Ranatunga, Dhammika Ranatunga, Ravi Ratnayeke,
To general reading of The Times newspaper digital archive (Gale Group);Jamaica Gleanor archive;National Library of Australia Trove; Papers Past NZ.
From former British Newspaper Library, Colindale and online:The Age, Melbourne Argus, Bangladesh Daily Star, Barbados Advocate, Canberra Times, Daily Telegraph, Dawn, Eastern Daily Press, The Hindu, The Independent (Dhaka), Indian Express, The Island (Lanka), Lahore Times, New Nation, New Zealand Auckland Herald, Sri Lanka Daily News, Stabroek News, Straits Times, Sydney Morning Herald, The Telegraph (Calcutta), Times of India , The Tribune Chandigarh, Trinidad Guardian, The West Australian.
Magazines/periodicals including Australian Cricket, B & H West Indies Annual, The Cricketer International, Cricketer Quarterly, Indian Cricket, Indian Cricket Field Annual, Playfair Cricket Monthly, Shell Cricket Almanack of New Zealand, Wisden Cricket Monthly, Wisden Book of Test Cricket, Wisden’s Cricketers’ Almanack.
Men In White, A History of Australian Cricket (Harte), A History of Indian Cricket (Bose), A History of West Indies Cricket (Manley)