The national team has got that spark back –Sanga


by Rex Clementine

Although Sri Lanka failed to reach the finals of Nidahas Trophy, former great Kumar Sangakkara says that the national cricket team is not far behind to start winning again. Since the highly rated Chandika Hathurusingha took over as Head Coach, Sri Lanka started off well by winning all three series in Bangladesh, but failure to qualify for the finals of the Nidahas Trophy tournament was a bitter pill to swallow.

"Patience is going to be the key. Miracles don’t happen. Success is not built overnight. The players themselves played some wonderful cricket even though they lost and failed to qualify for finals of Nidahas Trophy. The way they played was heartening to see. They were very aggressive and put up fantastic display of cricket. They are showing that promise and spark that is required to build this side. Time will tell how they would do," Sangakkara told Sunday Island.

A huge fan of Hathurusingha, the former captain reiterated that he is the best person to take the national cricket team forward. "Hatu is well equipped to deal with Sri Lankan cricket and cricketers. He needs support and time. He didn’t expect anything less than the pressure he is facing than when he took over. He is the guy who will deal with it. He has a special way of dealing with pressure and he has been very successful with it. He is at the moment the most ideally suited person to take Sri Lanka forward."

Sangakkara, 39, was instrumental in overhauling the domestic cricket structure being a part of a high profile committee. He has backed the Inter-Provincial tournament over the Inter-Club tournament and said that certain changes need to be done for the four team competition that is currently underway.

"We need to do some tinkering with Provincial Cricket. It has been a stop start endeavour in Sri Lanka. It has been always ad-hoc and almost whimsical allocation of players from one year to next without any loyalty to the Province or any exercise in brand building and developing a definite player royalty by making sure that a player stays there for a long term. Without those it will be stop start. There is lot of fine tuning and add ons to do," Sangakkara noted.

"At least getting this off the ground is good. Hopefully not for the sake of it There will be this club versus province and what is best kind of tussle. We must be humble enough to accept that the system that we had (club tournament) has been working for us but it needs to be completely overhauled and needs fine tuning. We need a complete new structure. Maybe that’s the reason why countries that have managed to condense these tournaments to provincial or state levels and condense the quality have become more and more successful than Sri Lanka over the years. Maybe time to open our eyes and take the good that we see around us," Sangakkara went onto say.


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