Send players to IPL, BBL: Dimuth Karunaratne suggests SL cricket board

ANI | Updated: Jul 05, 2019 19:20 IST

Leeds [UK], July 5 (ANI): Dimuth Karunaratne on Thursday suggested the Sri Lanka cricket board to send its players in overseas tournaments like the Indian Premier League (IPL) and Big Bash League (BBL) to get some experience.
Sri Lanka cricket board named a surprising squad for the World Cup. They named Karunaratne as the captain which shocked the cricketing fraternity as back then he had made his last ODI appearance in 2015. The side had not won a single bilateral ODI series since May 2016.
Karunaratne on the eve of Sri Lanka's last league match against India said other countries have good players as they compete in IPL, BBL and even county cricket. He further praised India's domestic structure and pointed out that Sri Lanka have only one season which is not enough to bridge the international gap.
"If you take other countries, they played lots of cricket like IPL and domestic structure in India is really good. In Sri Lanka, we have only one domestic season. Players have to show their talent in that particular season. When you come to the international level, there is a huge gap," Karunaratne said.
"We have to cross that gap and play lots of cricket, give chance to players to play in IPL, Big Bash League or County cricket. We have to give them permission to play an overseas tournament and get some experience. Those are the things I am expecting from our cricket board," he added.
Sri Lanka sit in the sixth position on the World Cup standings with eight points from as many matches. The team stands no chance to qualify for the semi-finals, however, Karunaratne is hopeful to end Sri Lanka's campaign on a high note.
"We can end it up on a high note. If we win the game we can finish in the fifth or sixth position. That's what our plan. We are trying to do our best," he said.
When asked to pick his favourite side, Karunaratne chose the hosts of the tournament, saying, "England side is a good team. So far they are doing really good. They are the number one team as well."
Talking about the takeaways from this edition of the World Cup, Karunaratne said Avishka Fernando performed really well and would be one of the future stars. He praised the middle-order and said it improved in the later stage of the tournament. The Sri Lanka skipper lauded veteran fast bowler Lasith Malinga's contribution to the team.
"Hopefully we can get some turn and give our best shot against India. In the batting line-up, Avishka Fernando and the opening pair and some middle-order if you take. We couldn't do well in the middle-order in the first few games but in the last matches we capitalised really well," Karunaratne said.
"We managed to bat really well at the end of the tournament but it's too late. "Avishka showed he can produce some runs for Sri Lanka. He is one of the future stars. And if you take the bowling line-up they did really well especially Malinga," he said.
When asked about Sri Lanka's preparation before the commencement of the ongoing World Cup, Karunaratne said following the 2015 edition they tried to build up a World Cup squad but players couldn't perform well. He further said Sri Lanka will return with solid 15-man team in the next tournament.
"After the 2015 World Cup, we also started to build up a World Cup side but unfortunately the players who come they couldn't perform really well. And we had to change lots of players. After this World Cup, we will try to have a special plan and identify players who can give us good batting, bowling and fielding. We will be looking at the fitness level in the future World Cups. We will try to make solid 15 players for the next World Cup," he said.
Sri Lanka will meet India on July 6 at Leeds. When asked if his side have a plan for players like Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli, Karunaratne acknowledged the Indian batsmen as dangerous and said Sri Lanka need to execute plans against them.
"Every batsman has a weak point. We check a couple of videos not only Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli but all the top six batsmen. We have a plan for everyone. The point is we have to execute really well. We know they are very dangerous, once they are set they go for a big one," he said. (ANI)

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