Sri Lankan cricket teamâ€™s captain Mahela Jayawardene has backed his young team to shine on their tour of England starting this week.
Jayawardene, leading the side in the absence of the injured Marvan Atapattu, is confident his players will adapt well to unfamiliar conditions. Sri Lanka will also be without experienced opener Sanath Jayasuriya, their highest run scorer in Tests and One-day Internationals (ODIs).
â€œThis is going to be a tough tour but a great opportunity for us to learn, both as a team and also as individuals,â€ Jayawardene said before the squad left Colombo on Thursday. â€œLosing players of the calibre of Marvan and Sanath makes it harder for us, but we have a group of six or seven exciting youngsters and I have the fullest confidence in them,â€ he added.
â€œThey have bags of talent and a great attitude. They want to develop and they will learn a great deal during a long tour that should be a crucial investment in our future. Iâ€™ll be urging them to play with the natural flair and freedom that has won them a place in the team.â€
Jayawardene said England represented a stiff challenge in Test cricket at home, especially after their Ashes win last year. â€œTheyâ€™ve got a balanced team with a couple of strong all-rounders, a good pace attack and a solid batting line-up, we expect them to play some good cricket,â€ Jayawardene said. â€œBut weâ€™ve got some world-class players and I know weâ€™ve got the talent to give them a really good fight. There are no fears out there â€” weâ€™ll be working really hard and will take the game to them.
Jayawardene dismissed concerns about the top orderâ€™s ability to adapt to English conditions. â€œPeople are already worrying about the ball moving around and all that jazz,â€ said Jayawardene. â€œBut England has some of the best batting pitches in the world and I know our batsmen are actually looking forward to the opportunity of scoring plenty of runs in the test series.â€
Sri Lanka regrouped on Thursday for the flight to England having enjoyed a 10-day holiday following a hectic six months of non-stop cricket. The team will play three warm-up matches before a three-match Test series starting at Lordâ€™s on May 11 and five ODIs.
Sri Lanka squad: Mahela Jayawardene (captain), Kumar Sangakkara (vice-captain), Upul Tharanga, Michael Vandort, Jehan Mubarak, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Thilan Samaraweera, Chamara Kapugedera, Prasanna Jayawardene (w/k), Chaminda Vaas, Nuwan Zoysa, Farveez Maharoof, Lasith Malinga, Nuwan Kulasekera, Muttiah Muralitharan, Malinga Bandara, Michael Tissera (manager); Tom Moody (coach), Trevor Penney (assistant coach), Tommy Simsek (physio), C.J. Clarke (trainer) and G. Niroshan (computer analyst).
Source: The NewsMore on:Mahela Jayawardene, Sri Lanka, Sri Lanka in England 2006
Technorati Tags: Jayawardene, England, Jayasuriya
Thank you for reading this post. You can now Leave A Comment (0) or Leave A Trackback.
Post InfoThis entry was posted on Sunday, April 23rd, 2006 and is filed under General.
Previous Post: Probables for England Tour will be named in May »
Next Post: Jonty Rhodes finalized as Pakistani fielding coach »
Read MoreRelated Reading:
- Ease Tension Through Cricket
- Watson could return against South Africa
- South Africa regain second place
- Chennai and Mohali to host Tests
- 2011 World Cup of Cricket Moved From India
- Haddin arrives with 169 as Australia rule
- Thankfully Indian Tour is Still On
- Game Should Be Binding Them
- Miandad stresses need for coaching
- Mohali emerges as alternative venue