Sanga called up to give pep talk to Sri Lankan cricketers


Former captain Kumar Sangakkara was invited by Head Coach Chandika Hathurusinghato give the Sri Lankan team a pep talk.

by Rex Clementine

Former captain Kumar Sangakkara was called up to give a pep talk to the Sri Lankan cricket team on Thursday ahead of their training session at RPS. Sangakkara (40) was invited by Head Coach Chandika Hathurusingha and the veteran spoke on a variety of subjects. The national cricket team is currently conducting training at RPS as preparation for the six nation Asia Cup tournament that gets underway next week in United Arab Emirates.

Hathurusingha has been tapping into the vast knowledge of various resource persons since he took over as Head Coach and yesterday it was Sangakkara’s turn to address his former team-mates.

Sangakkara during his session elaborated on subjects such as mindset, preparation, mental skill and technical aspects of the game.

The former great is Sri Lanka’s most successful batsman having scored more than 12,000 Test runs and 14,000 ODI runs.

Sri Lanka are making a conscious effort to raise their game in white ball cricket as their current rank of eight in ODIs and nine in T-20 cricket is nothing much to boast about.

Although the team has done reasonably well in Test cricket in recent times (ranked fifth), they have been well below par in limited overs cricket. Sri Lanka failed to make it to the finals of Nidahas Trophy, conducted to celebrate the 70th year of independence in March. They were also beaten by South Africa in a five match series with two games to spare last month.

Last year, Sri Lanka suffered three 5-0 whitewashes in ODIs against South Africa, India and Pakistan and narrowly avoided playing a qualifying round to enter next year’s ICC World Cup.

For the Asia Cup, Sri Lanka are pooled in Group ‘B’ alongisde Bangladesh and Afghanistan. They will take on Bangladesh in the curtain-raiser of the competition on the 15th September in Dubai followed by the fixture against Afghanistan two days later.

India and Pakistan are pooled in Group ‘A’ alongside Hong Kong, who shocked United Arab Emirates in the final of the qualifying round to book their place in the competition.

The top two teams from each group will progress to the Super Four stage from where the top two teams will be chosen to compete in the final scheduled for 28th September in Dubai.

Sri Lanka leave for UAE next Tuesday. They are awaiting the fitness of wicketkeeper batsman Dinesh Chandimal, who fractured his right middle finger while attempting a catch during the SLC T-20 league tournament.

Off-spinner Akila Dananjaya will miss the first two games of the tournament due to personal reasons.

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