EMERGING TEAMS ASIA CUP 2019:
Defending champions, the Sri Lanka Emerging Team will go out favourites to win the 2019 Emerging Teams Asia Cup 2019 which commences in Bangladesh on November 14 when Sri Lanka takes on Oman in the curtain raiser. In Group A are Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Oman, and in Group B India, Bangladesh, Hong Kong and Nepal.
Captained by the seasoned Charith Asalanka, Sri Lanka will field a very strong experienced team having won the tournament in the last two years.
Team Manager and Tour Selector, Chaminda Mendis, while expressing confidence in Sri Lanka winning it for a third time in a row, echoed the fact that importantly the SL Emerging Team was the stepping stone for youngsters to the mainstream national team. Addressing the media at the Sri Lanka Cricket headquarters yesterday, he said, “There are lots of youngsters who want to do well and the Emerging Team has proved to be the nurturing ground for promising players to make it to the national team. Skipper Charith Asalanka and Pathum Nissanka have proved to be two contenders to the national team by some noteworthy performances with the bat while in the bowling department players like Ramesh Mendis and Amila Aponso find leverage from the Emerging Team to further optimise their skills to step into thre national team with player like Dilruwan Perera now in the retirement age of 35 years,” the Manager said.
Meanwhile, Skipper Charith Asalanka said that the upcoming Tournament was a good opportunity for youngsters to flaunt their talents. “In the last two years we have been the champions and will carry that confidence to this year’s tournament having practiced hard under the able guidance of our coach Chaminda Vaas. I expect the players to maintain a good standard,” he said while adding that ‘we are not bothered about how good the opposition is because we play with the self belief of winning whatever opposition we encounter based on a viable game plan.’
Coach Chaminda Vaas echoed the fact that the team’s recent successful tour in Bangladesh was a high point to raise the team’s confidence going into the Asia Cup. We have performed so well that there are about 3 to 4 good players who are earmarked to play for the national team in the near future.
SRI LANKA SQUAD:
Charith Asalanka (Capt.), Kamindu Mendis (Vice Capt.), Pathum Nissanka, Hasith Boyagoda, Ashen Bandara, Shammu Ashan, Nishan Madushka, Jehan Daniel, Asitha Fernando, Kalana Perera, Ramesh Mendis, Amila Aponso, Shiran Fernando, Sachindu Colombage.
By Srian Obeyesekere
-The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Sri Lanka Cricket-