Sri Lanka vow to lift fielding standards


The national cricket team left for Champions Trophy yesterday

The national cricket team left for Champions Trophy yesterday promising to raise fielding standards. Fielding woes have cost the Sri Lankans dearly during their recent bilateral series against South Africa and Bangladesh and Angelo Mathews’ side has been termed world’s worst fielding unit. A week long residential training camp was held in Kandy with the main focus being improving fielding.

Former South African cricketer Nic Pothas was hired by Sri Lanka Cricket last year, but the national team wasn’t under his purview as he worked with the ‘A’ team and the under-19 side. However, intense media criticism following defeat to Bangladesh two months ago forced SLC to attach Pothas to the national team and Head Coach Graham Ford promised an improved performance before the team left the island.

"I would say fielding, but you might all start laughing. We’ve certainly done a lot of our fielding, so hopefully that’s going to stand up well," Ford said when asked what was the team’s biggest strength.

Fast bowler Lasith Malinga didn’t travel with the team, but he is expected to join the side soon after his IPL commitments.

Malinga, who returned to T-20 cricket earlier this year after injury hasn’t played an ODI since November 2015.

Captain Angelo Mathews is also back having missed all forms of international cricket since returning home early from South Africa due to injury.

Sri Lanka will conduct an eight day residential camp in Kent before playing two warm-up games against Scotland.

Pic by Kamal Bogoda.
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