The three-match Sri Lanka versus Bangladesh home ODI series pitting the two sides in the first of post-world cup engagements was officially announced yesterday at the Taj Samudra Hotel with Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) Secretary, Mohan de Silva extending a warm welcome to the touring Captain Tamim Iqbal, Coach Khaled Mahmud, Sri Lanka Captain Dimuth Karunaratne, Head Coach, Chandika Hathurusinghe and the tournament sponsor TVS Motor Company’s Senior VP, International Business, R. Dilip and Director Operations, Nana Rau.
“It is with great pleasure I welcome the Bangladesh captain, Tamim Iqbal and Coach Khaled Mahmud for the ODI series after a very competitive world cup. Bangladesh played some very quality cricket while Sri Lanka did their best although not to expectations. In the home ODI series we expect to see a close finish,” said the SLC Secretary who made it a point to thank the Bangladesh cricket board for
sending its team to Sri Lanka after the early reservations it had following the recent unrest in the country.
The Bangladesh Captain Tamim Iqbal thanked Sri Lanka Cricket for the warm welcome extended to him and his team, and said, “After what happened in Sri Lanka we were nevertheless looking forward to making the tour because we too experienced a similar situation when Sri Lanka stood firm with us by sending its team to play in our country. In cricket, we are like a family. I hope to see both sides playing some interesting cricket.”
Meanwhile, Sri Lanka Captain Dimuth Karunaratne said that in the wake of the world cup, Sri Lanka was looking to rebuild a formidable side for the future with the accent on young blood. “We are searching for young talent and this is a chance for youngsters. We expect to give Shehan Jayasuriya a chance in this series as he had performed very well for the SL A Team in India. Our aim is to start from now to build a team for the next world cup while focusing on the tours ahead. We look forward to a good series between the two sides. I thank the Bangladesh team for coming over.”
To questions about why Dinesh Chandimal had no place in the team, Karunaratne said, “It is not that Dinesh is not in our equation. We have him in mind, but as of now there is no place to fit him as the top slots in the batting order has been well filled. Our top six have performed well and at the moment it is difficult for Dinesh to come in. But we have him in mind for the future while he is in the equation for the test team.”
On the 22-member squad, the Sri Lankan captain said that a lengthy one was announced so as to consider the available young talent, but it would be accordingly pruned down going into the ODIs.
Responding to questions from the media, Tamim Iqbal said, “We had a decent world cup. It is not about playing good cricket, winning is our motto. We know that playing Sri Lanka in Sri Lanka is a difficult proposition. As to captaining the side as stand in captain I do look forward to the opportunity to leading from the front and delivering.”
TVS Motor Company’s Senior VP, International Business, R. Dilip spelling out the role of the team sponsorship of the Sri Lanka team said, “We are delighted to become the title sponsor of the Sri Lanka versus Bangladesh ODI series. TVS Motor Company has a long history of supporting sports in all our important markets across the globe. The same philosophy drives this association for our two key countries – Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, where cricket is a popular sport. We wish our best to both teams for the TVS Cup.”
The series will commence with a one-day warm up match today Tuesday at the P. Saravanamuththu Stadium between a Sri Lanka Board XI and Bangladesh.
The tournament gets underway with all three day-night matches, the first between the two countries to be played on July 26 at the R. Premadasa International Cricket Stadium, and the second on July 28 and the third on July 31 at the same venue.
SRI LANKA SQUAD:
Dimuth Karunaratne (Capt.), Kusal Janith Perera, Avishka Fernando, Kusal Mendis, Angelo Mathews, Lahiru Thirimanne, Shehan Jayasuriya, Dhananjaya de Silva, Niroshan Dickwella, Danushka Gunathilaka, Dasun Shanaka, Wanidu Hasaranga, Akila Dananjaya, Amila Aponso, Lakshan Sandakan, Lasith Malinga, Nuwan Pradeep, Kasun Rajitha, Lahiru Kumara, Thisara Perera, Isuru Udana, Lahiru Madushanka.
Tamim Iqbal (Capt.), Farhad Raza, Soumya Sarker, Anamul Haque Bijoy, Md Mithun, Mushfiqur Rahim, Mahmud Ullah, Mosaddek Hossain Saikat, Shabbir Rahman, Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Taijul Islam, Rubel Hossain, Taskin Ahmed, Mustafizur Rahman.