Upul stresses importance  of ‘A’ team cricket


by Roshen Steelman

England ‘A’ captain Chris Woakes shakes hands with Sri Lanka ‘A’ captain Upul Tharanga at the series launch.
(Pic by Saman Abeysiriwardane)

Former cricket star Romesh Kaluwitharana is satisfied with the performances of Sri Lanka ‘A’ team as several players have gone onto represent the national team over the last few months having graduated from the ‘A’ team.

"I am proud about my performance as the Sri Lanka ‘A’ coach. We were able to lead nine players to represent Sri Lanka after successful outings with the ‘A’ team," Kaluwitharana told journalists at the launch of unofficial Test series between England ‘A’ and Sri Lanka ‘A’.

"We have a very young side for the first unofficial Test apart from Upul Tharanga," Kalu added.

Sri Lanka ‘A’ will play three unofficial Tests at Pallekele, Dambulla and Colombo with the curtain raiser getting underway on Wednesday at Pallekele.

Tharanga, who has been appointed as captain for the first unofficial Test hoped he will convince the selectors with a good outing in the first game. "This is good opportunity for me and if I perform well I am pretty sure that selectors will look at me," Tharanga, who hasn’t played a Test Match since 2007 said.

Meanwhile England ‘A’ captain Chris Woakes believed the tour will be a good exposure to his players. "Half of our side toured Sri Lanka two years ago but it was a limited overs tournament. Since this is a longer version event, it’s a good opportunity to get used to conditions" Woakes said.


Sri Lanka ‘A’ squad: Upul Tharanga (Cap), Chathuranga de Silva, Niroshan Dickwella, Vishwa Fernando, Lahiru Gamage, Danushka Gunathilaka, Ishan Jayaratne, Udara Jayasundera, Shehan Jayasuriya, Tharindu Kaushal, Dhammika Prasad, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Chatura Randunu, Roshen Silva, Madawa Warnapura

England ‘A’ squad: Chris Woakes (Cap), Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow, Scott Borthwick, Varun Chopra, Ben Foakes, James Harris, Simon Kerrigan, Alex Lees, Tymal Mills, Liam Plunkett, Ollie Rayner, James Taylor, James Vince, Mark Wood

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