Hopes have risen again that Sri Lanka's tour of England will go ahead as planned, after encouraging remarks from International Cricket Council president David Morgan.
Speaking after the ICC's high-profile two-day meeting in Dubai, Morgan reported a renewed will to ensure the world governing body's future tours programme continues to take precedence.
"In respect of the FTP tour of Sri Lanka to England in 2009, I believe that the chairman of Sri Lanka Cricket, chairman of the England and Wales Cricket Board and other board chairmen have had meaningful discussions such that an FTP event will take place on the scheduled dates in England next year," he said.
Several of Sri Lanka's best players are committed to lucrative contracts for next year's Indian Premier League - which clashes with the two Tests and three one-day internationals their country's board agreed to play in England at the start of next summer, after Zimbabwe's tour had to be cancelled.
Indications over the past week were that the trip to England was in significant doubt, thanks to big-money negotiations between the IPL and the Sri Lankan board to ensure the cream of their players will be available for the sub-continental Twenty20 tournament.
But Morgan added: "Very good progress has been made in discussions that Arjuna Ranatunga (SLC chairman), Giles Clarke (ECB chairman) and other board chairmen have had.
"I would like to say that in our deliberations these past two days, there has been a good recognition of the primacy of ICC and FTP events."
ICC chief executive Haroon Lorgat added it is an issue for Sri Lanka and England to settle.
"My understanding is that Sri Lanka are making progress with England, and that's an issue which they will need to resolve," he said.
"From ICC perspective, international cricket is very important - and we must do everything in our power to protect nation-versus-nation cricket."