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Cardiff, Wales – Sri Lanka’s touring cricket team have today pledged their appearance fee from Thursday’s opening Test to disaster struck county cricket. The players were moved to make the big-hearted gesture after a recent warm-up match in Derby left them shocked at the devastation wrought on England’s domestic game by the recent economic tsunami.

“When you come from a relatively wealthy domestic set-up that has ties to the big Asian satellite sports networks, it’s easy to forget what life’s like in cricket’s third world,” explained captain Tillakaratne Dilshan, “Seeing the conditions at Derby was a wake-up call for all the lads. Looking at the stands it was as if most of the supporters had just been swept way.“

Sri Lanka’s tour comes shortly after thirteen of the eighteen counties reported large financial losses, requiring increased fiscal belt-tightening at a time when the game’s traditional retired support is already reeling from price rises to Werther’s Originals and premium cat food.

In the wake of the recent financial devastation, the eighteen cash-strapped county clubs have had to find increasingly unusual and innovative ways of balancing the books, with many counties existing as refugees on out grounds whilst their main stadium is made habitable, leaving spectators to huddle for cover in hastily erected tents.

“I know from my time with Lancashire that they’ve even considered hosting a Westlife concert at Old Trafford, “ said a visibly upset Farveez Mahroof, “it’s sickening. No one should have to live like that.”


In related news: The Royal Mint is to increase production of £50 notes following the introduction of new price tariffs at the Lord’s Tavern Bar and Brasserie.