English here to take on Sri Lankan Lion Cubs

After last year’s successful Sri Lanka U-17 tour of England in August under the captaincy of this year’s Royal College captain Chamika Karunaratne, this year the young lads from the United Kingdom are in the island of the Indian ocean to play a series of 3 ODI’s and a 3- day match,  17th – 27th April 2014.

Mr. Carlton Bernadus the Head of Cricket operation SLC thanked the ECB  for providing the youngsters an opportunity to not only improve their skills on the field but, for also providing a stage for the players to interact and make friends which could a long way in the future. He said it will  ‘bond countries together and  also become the force and the future ”. Mr Bernadus went on to say “It is important that we give an opportunity not only to play cricket but to make friends”

The British coach Lain Brunnschweiller started off by thanking Sri Lanka Cricket and the organizing committee for inviting them to Sri Lanka and went on to say that they are excited to be here in the island and will be looking forward to play a “positive breed of cricket”. “We look to play tough teams and Sri Lanka cricket seems to be doing very well, evident after their recent success at the Asia cup and WC T-20 this year” said Brunschweiller.

The ECB and the SLC look to make this a yearly encounter with the team’s alternatively touring either country. “It’s not a destination we have reached, it’s a journey we have begun” said the Sri Lanka coach Mr. Roger Wijeysuriya. The one time national off-spinner and now very experienced coach who has coached many schools and junior national teams said, they have selected the best team possible and will look out for an exciting competition but, also didn’t forget to mention that “it’s not the result but, it is the next product we are molding”.  He went on to say that at least one of these young lads will someday turn out to be another Kumar Sangakkara or Mahela Jayawardane.

The young English captain said they’ve had quite a lot of practice sessions to settle down and get used to the conditions especially the heat, ‘It’s been fantastic so far” said young Haseeb Hameed.  He also  mentioned that they have a good line up of cricketers comprising of fast bowlers who can generate reasonable pace and a spinner who has even played  first class cricket in England which goes to say that this team is not short of talent. He ended by saying that they “look to play exciting cricket”.

Charith Asalanka the young captain from Richmond College Galle said “It’s a great opportunity provided to all of us by SLC to play against international opponents and to gain exposure which we will definitely carry on for the future”. He said it’s been an experience for him personally getting to know various cricketers from different schools and even different parts of the country but, he says he enjoyed every bit of it, from the long practice sessions to the competitive practice games. “We not only look to win but to play good cricket” said the young lion. When asked about the composition of his squad he said he has a very balanced side comprising of experienced campers in the likes of himself, Kaveen Bandara the vice- captain and left arm spinner Thilan Nimesh from Prince of Wales college Moratuwa who have all toured England the last summer.

The tour Schedule is as follows:

17th April – ODI – Surrey Vilage, Maggona

19th April – ODI – R.Premadasa Stadium

21st April – ODI – R.Premadasa Stadium

24th-27th – 3 day Test match – Colombo Colts Cricket Club

Sri Lanka U-17 Squad :

Charith Asalanka (C) – Richmond College, Galle, Kaveen Bandara (VC) – DS Senanayaka College, Colombo, Vanindu Hasaranga – Richmond College, Galle, Kamindu Mendis – Richmond College, Avishka Fernando – St. Sebastian’s College, Moratuwa, Shanujith Shammuganathan – Triinity College, Kandy,Sammu Ashan – Ananda College, Maradana,  Malinga Amarasiri – Nalanda College, Maradana, Thilan Nimesh – Prince of Wales’ College, Moratuwa,  Damith Silva – Maliyadeva College, Kurunagala,Navindu Nirmal – St. Aloysius College, Galle,  Pathum Nissanka – Kaluthara MV, Kaluthara,Neranjana Wanniarachchi – Anandashastralaya, Kotte, Mohommed Alpha – St. Anthonies, Katugastota,  Manelka De Silva – St. Peters, College, Roger Wijeysuriya – Coach


England U-17 Squad –

Haseeb Hameed (C),Aaron Beard, Harry Dearden, Aneurin Donald, Arthur Godsal, Ben Green, Max Holden, Harvey Husein, Mosun Hussain, Saqib Mahmood,  Tom Moores, Brad Taylor, Matt Taylor, Simon Walton, Jared Warner, Joe Weatherley, Lain Brunnschweiler – Coach