Tuesday, January 24, 2012

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England ‘A’ will give Lankans much needed exposure

  • Tuesday, January 24, 2012
  • Aruntha Kanagaratnam
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  • Sri Lanka ‘A’ will field a strong side with new and experienced youngsters, captained by Thilina Kandambi against the England ‘A’ team in the five-match ODI series which will commence on January 27 with the curtain raiser to be played at the Rangiri Dambulla International Cricket Stadium.

    A press briefing was held at the SLC Headquarters yesterday, with the participation of the two captains, both coaches and SLC officials.

    SLC Secretary Nishantha Ranatunga emphasized the importance of the tournament for both countries as it will help to mould the the youngsters who will later represent the national teams. He further said that SLC focuses the next World Cup and ‘A’ team has to fill up the national team with new talent.

    “Even though we do not have recent experience in Dambulla grounds we made the decision to test our young players in comparatively strange conditions at first,” said SLC secretary.

    Responding to a question regarding the absence of a few players in the last-15, Ranatunga said it is difficult to comment on individuals as the task mainly lies in the hands of selectors. He also mentioned talented players such as Farveez Maharoof, Angelo Perera, and Sachith Pathirana were among the final 20 but did not make it to the final 15-member squad due to various reasons.

    Sri Lanka ‘A’ coach Romesh Kaluwitharana said that the selectors have chosen a balanced team and the players are ready for the task. He further pointed out that strong English side has included eight national players but on the bright side it has allowed our players to observe their play and get ready to deal with it.

    Kandambi who was appointed the Sri Lankan captain for the first three matches was confident with his team and said that the team has two practice sessions in Dambulla and it will help them to get oriented to the conditions there.

    England coach David Parsons admitted that they did not taste success during recent times in this part of the world, referring their Bangladesh and Indian tours, but was in the view that the strong English players will fight with the good teamwork. Speaking about the English bowling attack, Parsons said that they have five fast bowlers and three spinners to tame Sri Lankan batsmen.

    England captain James Taylor said that their main objective is to win the series, despite the hard conditions of Sri Lanka and specially they like to face the ‘spin challenge’ of Sri Lankan bowlers and gain experience.

    The second match will also be played at the Damblla ground on January 29 and the third will be worked off at the Welagedara Stadium, Kurunegala on January 31. The fourth and final matches have been scheduled for the R Premadasa Stadium, Colombo on February 3 and 6.

    The Sri Lankan team - Thilina Kandamby (Captain), Dimuth Karunaratne (Vice Captain), Mahela Udawatta, Malinda Warnapura, Banuka Rajapakse, Danushka Gunathilake, Ashan Priyanjana, Kushal Janith (Wicketkeeper), Seekkuge Prasanna, Suraj Randiv, Malinga Bandara, Nuwan Pradeep, Kosala Kulasekera, Kanishka Elvitigala and Thilina Thushara.

    The England team – James Taylor (Captain), Johny Bairstow, Scott Borthwick, Danny Briggs, Jack Brooks, Nathan Buck, Jos Buttler, Jade Dernbach, Alex Hales, Craig Kieswetter, Stuart Meaker, Samit Patel, Joe Root, James Vince and Chris Woakes.

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