Sunday Observer Online


Sunday, 22 January 2012





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England ‘A team here Jan 27:

Sri Lanka ‘A’ players get golden opportunity

CRICKET: With the England ‘A’ team touring the Island this month, the Sri Lankan counterparts and the fringe players should get the opportunity to prove their worth and pressurize the established players when the two teams meet each other in a five-match ODI series starting from January 27.

The tourists will play only in a ODI series, two matches at the Rangiri Dambulla Stadium, one at the Welegedera Stadium, Kurunegala and two in Colombo at the R. Premadasa International Cricket Stadium.

‘A’ team tours will no doubt help to build a strong main team and this tour is bound to develop both teams.

”The development of our teams is no doubt based on these ‘A’ tours where emerging players have cemented their places in the main side. Playing against foreign teams give a good assessment as to where you stand in the international arena. The tour should make the players tougher with mounting pressure situations at times. One can find top quality players confronting even in ‘A’ sides because it is a one big tussle to enter the main team,” said Romesh Kaluvitharana the Sri Lankan ‘A’ coach.

He went on to say that he was proud that he was able to push about ten or twelve players from the ‘A’ side to the national team during his two-and-a-half-year tenure with the back up team.

“There are many players who had made their presence felt in the national team after being in the ‘A’ side. There are some who are among the established players and I am proud of them. Credit should also be given to the players as well for their untiring efforts in reaching higher levels. This particular tour is very important for the young talented players as it could be the path to big time cricket.

In the last two Sri Lanka ‘A’ tours to Australia and England, players of the calibre of Dinesh Chandimal and Lahiru Thirimanne got the opportunity to prove themselves. Likewise Seekuge Prasanna, Thisara Perera, Kosala Kulsekera, Dimuth Karunaratne, Suranga Lakmal, Nuwan Pradeep, Kaushal Silva to name some players who have come through the process. There is also Sachitra Senanayake who left for South Africa as a replacement and Kusal Janith Perera who played in a T20 match against Pakistan in the UAE.

Close to about 15 players have been drafted into the national team at some time or other,” added Kaluvitharana. The ‘A’ team concept have given the opportunity even for some Test players to make a come back after a short stint representing the ‘A’ side. Even players of the class of Thilan Samaraweera has been in the ‘A’ team while not on tour. This helps the younger players to boost their confidence. However, a younger player needs more exposure at ‘A’ team level to do better at the highest level. So, the players should be regularly exposed to the International arena. It is important that the competitive level should be at a higher grade for a player to give the best performance.

Match schedule:

January 25-26 - Sri Lanka/England practice at Dambulla Stadium.
January 27 - 1st ODI Sri Lanka ‘A’ vs England ‘A’ at Dambulla.
January 28 - practice at Dambulla
January 29 - 2nd ODI at Dambulla
January 31 - 3rd ODI at Welegedera Stadium, Kurunegala Travel to Colombo.
February 3 - 4th ODI at R. Premadasa Stadium (Day)
February 6 5th ODI at R. Premadasa Stadium (Day)

The Sri Lanka ‘A’ team to meet England ‘A’ in a five match ODI series.

Thilina Kandamby (captain), Dimuth Karunaratne, (Vice captain), Mahela Udawatte, Danushka Gunatileka, Bhanuka Rajapakse, Kusal Janith Perera (Wicket keeper), Farveez Maharoof, Malintha Warnapura, Ashan Priyanjana, Angelo Perera, Kanishka Alvitigala, Thilina Thushara, Tharanga Lakshitha, Nuwan Pradeep, Suraj Randiv, Sachitra Senanayake, Seekkuge Prasanna, Malinga Bandara, Sajeeva Weerakoon and Sachit Pathirana.



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