Herath on how Haturusingha influenced his career


by Rex Clementine

Sri Lanka’s interim Test captain Rangana Herath paid a tribute to his mentor Chandika Haturusingha, who invited him for Moors Sports Club when he was a 19-year-old. Herath, after a successful school career at Maliyadeva Vidyalaya, Kurunegala, joined John Keels Holdings. Chaminda Haturusingha, Chandika’s younger brother was playing for the same firm and it was he who introduced the left-arm spinner to Chandika.

"I played with Chandika for ten years at Moors. He invited me to join Moors when I was playing for John Keels in 1998. I learned a lot from him during my time at Moors. One of the things that I learned from him is how to handle pressure," Herath told journalists yesterday.

Now their roles are reversed and while Herath is leading Sri Lanka, Chandika is the Head Coach of Bangladesh.

"This series is a huge challenge for us as Bangladesh have loads of experience," Herath went onto say.

Bangladesh skipper Mushfiqar Rahim believes that this is his team’s best chance of beating Sri Lanka in a Test match.

"This is probably our best chance to beat Sri Lanka. But having said that, they recently whitewashed Australia when they toured Sri Lanka last year. They maybe inexperienced with several retirements. We will try to match them."

Sri Lanka coach Graham Ford expected a tough challenge during the next few weeks as Bangladesh will play two Tests, three ODIs and two T-20s.

"We had Bangladesh in Sri Lanka in 2013 and it was a very competitive series. We were fortunate to get over the line on that occasion. They have a few players who were part of that squad still playing for Bangladesh and this will be another competitive series."

Sri Lanka were whitewashed 0-3 in their last Test series by South Africa and Ford highlighted fielding as one of the key areas his team needed to improve.

"Fielding has been an area that we have been let down on many instances. The Board had put in a lot of thought into it. We are not going to do much as far as fielding is concerned when players reach the top level. The work needs to be started at Under-19 level. There is a saying that you can’t teach an old dog do new tricks. We have a programme to develop fielding at age-group levels. I am glad to see that the Under-19 team is fielding well."

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