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June 15, 2006
Ten years after their famous World Cup triumph, Sri Lanka have fallen to sixth in the one-day rankings; Tom Moody, the Sri Lanka coach, has attempted to blend young talent with more established performers like Muttiah Muralitharan, Mahela Jayawardene and Chaminda Vaas, with mixed success.
"We are all aware that we are in this rebuilding phase and we have to be patient," Maharoof admitted. "But there is a lot of young talent in our squad and we know we are working towards the World Cup. With the experience we can pick up between now and then there is every reason to believe we will be a threat in that tournament."
Sri Lanka's dogged, fighting performance to win the final Test against England - drawing the series 1-1 - has given them an understandable boost in confidence, however.
"That draw in the first Test made the people at home very happy. We were not expected to do anything against a side that won the Ashes and it gave us confidence," he said.
"We say in Sri Lanka that we have a lion's heart and that is the way this side plays. It likes a fight and never gives up. [sic]"
Before the first one-dayer on Saturday, Sri Lanka face England at the Rose Bowl this evening in their first Twenty20, which gets underway at 19.30BST.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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