Sri Lankan cricket can get better – Hathurusingha


by Rex Clementine

Sri Lanka’s Head Coach Chandika Hathurusingha is confident that the national cricket team can perform better than what they have been doing at present. The cricketers returned home yesterday after a successful tour of Bangladesh having won the Test, ODI and T-20 series.

"Very exciting to think that this team can improve a lot. We have four guys injured at the moment. When all those guys are available, we can go and compete with bigger teams. We have got lot of talent in this country and it is a matter of giving them opportunities. We have the highest wicket taker among right-armers (Muttiah Muralitharan) and left-armers (Rangana Herath)," Hathurusingha said addressing a media briefing in Colombo yesterday.

One of the significant contributors during the tour was all-rounder Thisara Perera. The 28-year-old finished as Player of the Series in the tri-nation competition having excelled with both bat and ball. His big hitting came in handy during the T-20 series as well.

"What I always felt was he was a mighty talented player. We made him understand his role. That must have been the reason why that he fired. He changed his training methods a bit as well. We are seeing what he is capable of. He has still room to improve and he can contribute more," Hathurusingha added.

Given Sri Lanka’s struggles last year, the tour of Bangladesh was a massive relief as Sri Lanka came on top across all three formats. "The environment was very good. The coaching staff was amazing. The communication was very good. Always told them to back themselves without worrying about the outcome. That was the major turning point in us enabling to turn things around.

Sri Lanka’s next challenge will be the tri-nation Nidhas Trophy which will get underway next month in Colombo. India and Bangladesh will be their opponents. "We will analyze the opposition and what we want to achieve. We have communicated to the players and they know their roles as well. We are preparing all the players to do their roles to be best they can."

"In cricket you can not guarantee winning or losing. What we are trying to do is to get better every time we train and every time we play. If we play to our potential, we will win more games than losing games," he added.

Sri Lanka’s white ball captain Angelo Mathews, who had to return home with a hamstring injury praised the contributions Hathurusingha has made for the success of the team.

"It has been very disappointing to watch from outside, but fantastic to see the way the boys have been playing. They played without any fear. The messiah is back with his disciples and we are firing on all cylinders."

Test captain Dinesh Chandimal, who captained the side in ODIs and T-20s in the absence of Mathews shared similar sentiments. "Very pleased to return home victorious. We played like a family not like a team. I would like to thank the selectors, all the coaches, the board for backing us to the fullest. The arrival of Hatu has helped us to make a huge turn around. He is a big plus point moving forward. I am thankful to all our fans for backing us during good times and bad times."

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