On the eve of the departure of the Sri Lanka team for the 2018 Asia Cup, Head Coach Chandika Hathurusinghe said that he was very happy with Sri Lanka’s preparations for the upcoming Asian cricketing extravaganza.
Speaking at the team’s pre departure press briefing at the SSC Marquee on Wednesday, he quipped, “We don’t take any team lightly and we have focused on aspects such as the dew and wet wickets which are the swaying challenges I see,” he said.
Commenting on the balance of the 16-man squad, Hathurusinghe said it was well blended. On the inclusion of champion fast bowler Lasith Malinga, he said, “I believe that Malinga fits into our equation for this tournament. He is one of the best death bowler’s in the world. In the last few matches he has performed well and his fitness is up to mark.”
Meanwhile, Skipper Angelo Mathews while observing that ‘this is the biggest tournament in Asia and that every team wants to win,’ said, “We will do our very best to bring glory to our country.
Responding to a question as to fond memories of leading Sri Lanka to the Asia Cup title in 2014, he said, “We played Pakistan in that final. But the past is past. It is an altogether new thing going with fond memories.”
Team Manager, Charith Senanayake said, “We like to go as the underdogs and aim to become the top dog. The tournament is important to us being the most important cricketing tournament next to the World Cup. The players have put in all the hard work in the build up to the event. The team is a good blend of youth and experience and we have done well in the past. Of course our main hurdle will be to get past India and Pakistan.”
By Srian Obeyesekere