Ian bishop talks about Sri Lanka’s cricket future


Ian Bishop was a notable fast bowler the West Indies had produced during the 1990s. (Files)

by Revata S. Silva in Barbados

A fast-bowler of the West Indies’ side of the 1990s, the currently 50-year-old Ian Raphael Bishop is now a good observer of the game. From his com box, the experienced former West Indie pacie has seen the present generation of Sri Lanka cricketers evolving through the last decade or so.

Here are the views of the former lanky fast-bowler Bishop who took a career-best of 6-40 against Australia at Perth in 1993. He took 161 wickets in 43 Tests and 118 wickets in 84 One-dayers.

Following are excerpts of an interview ‘The Island’ did with Bishop during the Sri Lanka vs. West Indies Test series that ended last Tuesday:

* On Sri Lanka’s future prospects:

There are highly potential youngsters in the Sri Lankan team at present. I’ve discussed with the West Indian players too how technically correct one of your batmen like Kusal Mendis is. He has a great future. Skipper Dinesh Chandimal also is a highly talented as well as an aggressive batsman. Sri Lanka has an explosive batman in the calibre of Kusal Perera. Niroshan Dickwella is the same. Those players must be managed well for the future.

* On the Sri Lankan bowlers:

The present Kensington Oval pitch in Barbados is the fastest I’ve seen in recent times. I saw how a bowler like Lahiru Kumara bowls in that pitch. If he gets similar number of wickets in Sri Lanka too, he will be serving his country more. He is frequently hitting the 140kmph mark which is rare. I also feel Asitha Fernando too is a good fast-bowler. Dushmantha Chameera is another one you have got. All these players must be managed carefully for the future.      

The best players of yesteryear:

Aravinda de Silva is an exceptional batman you had. I can still remember how de Silva and Sanath Jayasuriya batted during the 1997 Test in St. Vincent. But both teams, Sri Lanka and the West Indies, are passing a transitional period.

However, it’s not ok to compare those sides with the present ones. Anyway, players such as Lloyd, Gordon Greenidge and Desmond Haynes have become commentators of late. I think it’s a great thing.

On the players being after commercial gains nowadays in cricket:

I think as professional cricketers, they need to earn money. There is no problem in it. I don’t know when the West Indies can achieve their former greatness once again. Anyway the game is still popular here. If there is a T20 game, there are packed stadia still at the West Indies.

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