Tharanga can transform this team into awinning side – SLC Chief

Published : 9:26 am  August 17, 2017 | No comments so far |  | 

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Reiterating his intention to continue as President of Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) until the 2019 World Cup, Thilanga Sumathipala yesterday said he was confident that One Day International and Twenty20 International Captain Upul Tharanga could lead the team to success in the upcoming ODI series against India. 


Sri Lanka lost all three Tests against India inside four days while losing the final Test by a whopping innings and 171-run margin. 
“No one likes to see Sri Lanka lose 0-3. But this is not the first time we have lost like this. We know how and what to do with the players. This is not the time to pick on them. We’re talking to the players and we are confident that Upul can transform this team into a winning side. He’s got the ability. He’s quiet but the way he’s thinking and working, he’s got the support of all the players in the team. We’re confident that under Upul’s leadership we’ll play a different kind of one day series against India,” Sumathipala said.


He also said that the administration could not and would not have an influence over the team and its performances, adding that the Board would provide all the necessary support to help the team overcome this challenging period. 


“The Board (has) an overall responsibility. We have to work together (with the team). We need to give as much support to the team as possible. We’re confident we can put the house in order,” Sumathipala said. 


“We trust the team to perform on the field, and sometimes they win, sometimes they lose. We haven’t tried to influence them, and we won’t. Our job is to ensure that they have all facilities they need, and to guide them with our experience. I don’t think anyone has a knowledge of cricket, who understands cricket administration will accept that argument (that administration was the reason for the poor results).”

 

I can continue (the first term) at the Cricket Board until next year. I am not looking to take any position at the ICC for the next three years and I don’t intend to resign as President of the SLC at least till the 2019 World Cup

 

Sumathipala also said that he was not keen to take any role at the International Cricket Council (ICC), as had been previously reported, saying he would like to continue as the SLC President until the 2019 Cricket World Cup. 


“I can continue (the first term) at the Cricket Board until next year. I am not looking to take any position at the ICC for the next three years and I don’t intend to resign as President of the SLC at least till the 2019 World Cup,” Sumathipala said.  


Sri Lanka’s ODI and Twenty20 International Captain Upul Tharanga also expressed optimism about the upcoming limited over series saying he was happy with the team that was given to him. 


“We didn’t play to the best of our abilities in the Test series. We need to forget those defeats if we want to move forward as a team, and take the lessons we learnt into the ODI series. Despite the injuries that we have suffered, I am happy with the team that has been given to me, and I feel that we can do better and show the world how we can perform in this format. We have confidence in ourselves to do that,” Tharanga said. “Tests and One Days are two different games. We need to forget about the Tests and fix our shortcomings and face the ODIs. When you take our bowlers, three of our main bowlers are not playing in this series. But we trust the new bowlers who have come into the team and having Lasith Malinga also in the team it’s a big strength to the team. We are hopeful that Angelo Mathews will be able to start bowling soon,” Tharanga said. 


Chief Selector Sanath Jayasuriya meanwhile, said that while he would welcome a reality where he could play 15 players over a one-year period, it was not possible due to injuries. 


“I have spoken about the fact that we have had injuries over the last year to deal with. Excluding the Indian series we have had about 25 injuries. We lost about four players during the Test series as well. With the resources that I have available and in consultation with the High Performance Manager, and the Coaches, we need to bring in the best players available,” Jayasuriya said. 
(SD)

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