Champions League news September 14, 2013

'Best team Sri Lanka have sent' - Thirimanne

  shares 26

Sri Lanka's makeshift Twenty20 tournament was confirmed only two days before it began and was followed by the board's public spat with Kumar Sangakkara, but Kandurata Maroons captain Lahiru Thirimanne believes Sri Lanka now sends the strongest ever side to represent the country at the Champions League.

Four members of Sri Lanka's frontline Twenty20 side, which has remained atop the world rankings for almost a year, will also play for Kandurata in India. In addition to Thirimanne and Sangakkara, Ajantha Mendis and Nuwan Kulasekara are in the squad, along with Rangana Herath, who is not always in the Twenty20 XI, but has bowled crucial spells for Sri Lanka in the shortest format.

Kandurata's supporting cast includes sometime Sri Lanka players and domestic stalwarts Thilina Kandamby and Kaushal Lokuarachchi, as well as earmarked youngsters like allrounder Shehan Jayasuriya and fast bowler Vimukthi Perara.

"I think this is the best team Sri Lanka have sent," Thirimanne said. "We've got some very experienced players - the likes of Sangakkara, Kulasekara, Upul Tharanga and Ajantha Mendis. Whether you look at our bowling or batting, we have a lot of ability and the side is well balanced. We're very happy that we have players like Sangakkara and Herath, who are among the best in the world at the moment."

Spin bowling shapes as a particular strength for Kandurata, who have two slow-bowling allrounders in their ranks in Jayasuriya and Milinda Siriwardene, in addition to Mendis and Herath. Although Mendis' statistics make plain his decline in the longer formats, he still averages 12.84 and has a strike-rate of 12.6 in Twenty20 internationals, where his variety has remained effective.

"We will have a big advantage with the quality of spinners that we have. They will be playing in helpful conditions in India and maybe some of the teams aren't very comfortable against spin - we're playing the New Zealand side in the qualifiers. That said we'll still have to play very well as a team to go through."

Because the Super Fours tournament, through which Kandurata qualified, was only one week in length, the team has only played four matches, but neither Thirimanne nor the coach Chaminda Vaas anticipated a weakness in the side's lack of cohesion.

"We've only played four matches, but we played really well in that tournament, and we've also trained very hard in the last few weeks," Vaas said. "We've got a very balanced team. The batting is balanced and we've got good fast bowlers as well as spinners. We've got the best possible combination to do well in the tournament."

Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on September 18, 2013, 18:56 GMT

    It should be corrected as the "best team assembled" in a short notice.... They have already lost 2/2 games and it reflects more than the talent that can be notice ONLY on paper is needed to win games. I only feel sad for Sanga....who had to show his legion to the country due to the mistreatment by SLC and SLC ignited mob!!! Any lessons learned from this debacle.....Nothing by the SLC or the Rest of Sri Lanka, as there is no press freedom to express the obvious!!!

  • on September 17, 2013, 8:25 GMT

    thirimane you can do it.............best of Luck

  • on September 16, 2013, 15:04 GMT

    1-Tharanga 2-Kandamby 3-Sangakkara 4-Thirimanne 5-C.Silva 6-K.Loukorachi 7-D.Loukhetige 8-R.Herath 9-Kulasekhara 10-D.Prasad 11-A.Mendis

  • naveen1122 on September 16, 2013, 6:38 GMT

    I think there is no need to worry about any team based on the country, as there are players from all over the world in many teams. We should try to enjoy the cricket being played in the tournament, and nothing should be viewed in the perspective of any country. This is only a tournament played among franchises.

  • on September 16, 2013, 2:04 GMT

    This team could be Sri Lanka's national side.

  • on September 16, 2013, 1:08 GMT

    we want tests not this clt,bpl and ipl jokes

  • on September 15, 2013, 20:30 GMT

    common guys this is tbe time for make a history

  • on September 15, 2013, 16:54 GMT

    Waiting for our Awesome win in CLT20 All the best!!!!!

  • mark2011 on September 15, 2013, 10:32 GMT

    Looks pretty balance Side, hopefully they should play well.. and make some impressive performance...ALL THE VERY BEST FOR KANDURAT & Capt Thirimanne..!!!

  • on September 15, 2013, 9:06 GMT

    1-Tharanga 2-Shehan Jayasuriya 3-Sangakkara 4-Thirimanne 5-Kandamby 6-K.Loukorachi 7-D.Loukhetige 8-R.Herath 9-Kulasekhara 10-D.Prasad 11-A.Mendis

    Excellent bowling attack and aggresive batting with cool heads like Sanga and Kandamby... got to fancy ur chances...All the best

  • on September 18, 2013, 18:56 GMT

    It should be corrected as the "best team assembled" in a short notice.... They have already lost 2/2 games and it reflects more than the talent that can be notice ONLY on paper is needed to win games. I only feel sad for Sanga....who had to show his legion to the country due to the mistreatment by SLC and SLC ignited mob!!! Any lessons learned from this debacle.....Nothing by the SLC or the Rest of Sri Lanka, as there is no press freedom to express the obvious!!!

  • on September 17, 2013, 8:25 GMT

    thirimane you can do it.............best of Luck

  • on September 16, 2013, 15:04 GMT

    1-Tharanga 2-Kandamby 3-Sangakkara 4-Thirimanne 5-C.Silva 6-K.Loukorachi 7-D.Loukhetige 8-R.Herath 9-Kulasekhara 10-D.Prasad 11-A.Mendis

  • naveen1122 on September 16, 2013, 6:38 GMT

    I think there is no need to worry about any team based on the country, as there are players from all over the world in many teams. We should try to enjoy the cricket being played in the tournament, and nothing should be viewed in the perspective of any country. This is only a tournament played among franchises.

  • on September 16, 2013, 2:04 GMT

    This team could be Sri Lanka's national side.

  • on September 16, 2013, 1:08 GMT

    we want tests not this clt,bpl and ipl jokes

  • on September 15, 2013, 20:30 GMT

    common guys this is tbe time for make a history

  • on September 15, 2013, 16:54 GMT

    Waiting for our Awesome win in CLT20 All the best!!!!!

  • mark2011 on September 15, 2013, 10:32 GMT

    Looks pretty balance Side, hopefully they should play well.. and make some impressive performance...ALL THE VERY BEST FOR KANDURAT & Capt Thirimanne..!!!

  • on September 15, 2013, 9:06 GMT

    1-Tharanga 2-Shehan Jayasuriya 3-Sangakkara 4-Thirimanne 5-Kandamby 6-K.Loukorachi 7-D.Loukhetige 8-R.Herath 9-Kulasekhara 10-D.Prasad 11-A.Mendis

    Excellent bowling attack and aggresive batting with cool heads like Sanga and Kandamby... got to fancy ur chances...All the best

  • on September 15, 2013, 6:53 GMT

    Mr. thirmane.. mr deffensive so far i ever seen after rahul dravid in this fast moving game. you mentioned you got the best team so far . i would say except you all are good for that format. first try to score minimum 100 strike rate. don spoil sri lanka image by deffensive in champions trophy. really boring to see the way you bat. unless copy paste of one cover drive. please learn how to score run a ball. if not forget about being captain survivng in team might become difficult. you will never be next sangkkara sure. becausehe is simply masterclass and run machine . and awesome personality. prove that your worth for the team. scoring at 50 strike rate even under 13 stdent also can do that international arena. hope you take these words seriously

  • VVSR92 on September 14, 2013, 22:17 GMT

    This team does not have great batting fire power to chase totals over 150.However they should get through qualifiers with wins vs otago & faislabad wolves. there bolwing is godd enough to create problems for the opposition.

  • on September 14, 2013, 21:31 GMT

    All the best Kandurata !!!!!!!!!!!!!!Love you

  • on September 14, 2013, 16:34 GMT

    Probably the best spirit from sri lankan soil for any CLT20. But yet there is lot to be done.They are balanced, i hv no doubt about that.Bt probable it could have had some more attacking players. But comparatively they are a much strong side here.And they have the spirit of moving through the qualifiers.Sri Lanka will have a better chance this time :D

  • on September 14, 2013, 11:04 GMT

    I think leading wicket-taker with 10 wickets at 12.2 in the latest ODI series between Sri Lanka and South Africa means that Mendis still has it in longer formats.

  • on September 14, 2013, 10:23 GMT

    Mr thrimanne u r not representing sri lanka but kadurata. champion league is franchise tournament since sri lanka don't have franchise u r representing SLC. Kind of this comment made spat between sanga and SLC already sp better keep it to ur self. but good luck for the tournament.

  • SriLankanYoungBlood on September 14, 2013, 9:52 GMT

    reality is this team is more ODI team than T2O this consists of good ODI batsmen like Sanga,Thiri,Tharanga kandamy can get 50 if opposition miss 2 or 3 catches Chamara Silva is very slow starter if he get 50 definelty team will lose only T20 players are mendis,siriwardena and lokuarrachi but mendis may best only newzealnd team not sunrisers or Fasilalabad kula is one of the most expensive baller in India condition Sehan may not get any chance if he gets it's very useful to batting and balling this team can't get maximum of 160.it's not enough in this conditions but as a Sri Lankan i wish 2 Kandurata to do their best

  • ThinkingCricket on September 14, 2013, 8:33 GMT

    The official site of CL T20 shows Dhammika Prasad and not Rangana Herath (who would be a massive uprgrade). That said, the Maroons have a woeful batting lineup which looks acceptable on paper only due to Sanga (who is nowhere near as good a T20 player as he is at ODI's). My prediction is that they will struggle, especially in good batting conditions and against teams that won't hesitate to put their spinners to the sword.

  • on September 14, 2013, 7:20 GMT

    I like to see the kandurata team in new uniform with branded logo.

  • on September 14, 2013, 7:19 GMT

    U Tharanga , T Kandambi , Sanga (WK) , Kaushalya L , Thiri (C) , Chamara S / Milinda S , Lokuhetti , Kulasekara , Dhammika P , Rangana H , Ajantha M (no doubt this is the best team Sri Lanka have sent for clt20 and hope they will prove the point. It is a great mix of experience & youth)

  • harithavsoman on September 14, 2013, 6:54 GMT

    We will win CLT20 for sure.

  • on September 14, 2013, 6:35 GMT

    All the best sanga and thirimanna u guys in kadurata!!!!

  • on September 14, 2013, 6:13 GMT

    if im not mistaken Rangana Herath is not in the squad if he is that would be great to the team he is a great spinner so much better than mendis.

  • maddy20 on September 14, 2013, 5:38 GMT

    Welcome to India. I wish you guys all the best. This team is not one to be trifled with and it will be great to see them progress to the later stages of the tournament.

  • on September 14, 2013, 5:34 GMT

    yes,we can thiriya.we always support you and all the success for kandurata!!!.......

  • fan2011 on September 14, 2013, 5:34 GMT

    Yes indeed it's a very good team only only if Lahiru thirimane was not in it.. LT bats slower than the english batsman and that would not be helpful in a t20 tournament.. hence let me say we will be crushed out of the qualifying stages... and the te

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  • fan2011 on September 14, 2013, 5:34 GMT

    Yes indeed it's a very good team only only if Lahiru thirimane was not in it.. LT bats slower than the english batsman and that would not be helpful in a t20 tournament.. hence let me say we will be crushed out of the qualifying stages... and the te

  • on September 14, 2013, 5:34 GMT

    yes,we can thiriya.we always support you and all the success for kandurata!!!.......

  • maddy20 on September 14, 2013, 5:38 GMT

    Welcome to India. I wish you guys all the best. This team is not one to be trifled with and it will be great to see them progress to the later stages of the tournament.

  • on September 14, 2013, 6:13 GMT

    if im not mistaken Rangana Herath is not in the squad if he is that would be great to the team he is a great spinner so much better than mendis.

  • on September 14, 2013, 6:35 GMT

    All the best sanga and thirimanna u guys in kadurata!!!!

  • harithavsoman on September 14, 2013, 6:54 GMT

    We will win CLT20 for sure.

  • on September 14, 2013, 7:19 GMT

    U Tharanga , T Kandambi , Sanga (WK) , Kaushalya L , Thiri (C) , Chamara S / Milinda S , Lokuhetti , Kulasekara , Dhammika P , Rangana H , Ajantha M (no doubt this is the best team Sri Lanka have sent for clt20 and hope they will prove the point. It is a great mix of experience & youth)

  • on September 14, 2013, 7:20 GMT

    I like to see the kandurata team in new uniform with branded logo.

  • ThinkingCricket on September 14, 2013, 8:33 GMT

    The official site of CL T20 shows Dhammika Prasad and not Rangana Herath (who would be a massive uprgrade). That said, the Maroons have a woeful batting lineup which looks acceptable on paper only due to Sanga (who is nowhere near as good a T20 player as he is at ODI's). My prediction is that they will struggle, especially in good batting conditions and against teams that won't hesitate to put their spinners to the sword.

  • SriLankanYoungBlood on September 14, 2013, 9:52 GMT

    reality is this team is more ODI team than T2O this consists of good ODI batsmen like Sanga,Thiri,Tharanga kandamy can get 50 if opposition miss 2 or 3 catches Chamara Silva is very slow starter if he get 50 definelty team will lose only T20 players are mendis,siriwardena and lokuarrachi but mendis may best only newzealnd team not sunrisers or Fasilalabad kula is one of the most expensive baller in India condition Sehan may not get any chance if he gets it's very useful to batting and balling this team can't get maximum of 160.it's not enough in this conditions but as a Sri Lankan i wish 2 Kandurata to do their best