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Sri Lanka Cricket tells clubs to prepare bouncy pitches

Sa'adi Thawfeeq

February 18, 2012

Comments: 17 | Text size: A | A

Nuwan Pradeep bowls at the nets, Colombo, July 30, 2010
Nuwan Pradeep is among the many fast bowlers who's been hit by injuries © ESPNcricinfo Ltd
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Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) has made a request to all clubs playing in the first-class Premier League competition to prepare pitches with grass and consistent bounce for the ongoing 2011-12 season in order to encourage longer fast-bowling spells and avoid the frequent recurrence of injuries.

Not a series or tour by the senior Sri Lankan team goes by without one or more fast bowlers returning home due to injury, thus upsetting the balance of the team and sometimes well-laid down plans to counter the opposition. This new development has been taking place in the past couple of years and it has prompted the cricket board to find a remedy.

The result, according to SLC's vice-president in charge of cricket, K Mathivanan, has been "very encouraging".

"We had to find a remedy to stop fast bowlers from getting injured constantly and our coaching unit, after a study, found that the preparation of pitches at domestic matches was part of the problem," said Mathivanan.

"When clubs prepare virtually grassless pitches it discourages the fast bowlers, and captains are reluctant to use them for longer spells. This has resulted in these fast bowlers becoming unfit to bowl even 20 overs a day at international level without breaking down."

Mathivanan said that SLC took a decision to request the clubs, especially the ones playing in the Premier League Tier 'A' to prepare pitches with pace and bounce to encourage fast bowlers to bowl longer spells.

"I am happy to note that the majority of the clubs have got the message and have started preparing good tracks," Mathivanan said.

"We took this decision also with the 2015 World Cup in mind. We need to have our fast bowlers free from injury for the World Cup, which will be held in seamer-friendly and fast and bouncy pitches of Australia and New Zealand," he said.

Following the World Cup final last April, fast bowlers Nuwan Kulasekara, Dhammika Prasad, Nuwan Pradeep, Suranga Lakmal, Dilhara Fernando, Chanaka Welegedara and Shaminda Eranga have constantly been on the injury list.

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Posted by   on (February 20, 2012, 18:18 GMT)

Nuwan pradeep brokedown after bowling in the nets at the prev IPL season!

Posted by ranilranathunga on (February 20, 2012, 17:33 GMT)

It took this long to realize this...funny..

Posted by stormy16 on (February 20, 2012, 8:38 GMT)

Interesting but I dont see SA, Aus or England calling for spin friendly wickets. No doubt this is why they struggle against spin and dont have too many quality spinners but this is the home advantage. Not sure what the solution is but this is a good start but a better option may be to have a few venues that offer pace and bounce which gives the opportunity to home in the skills. What you dont want is to concentrate on a skill SL doesnt have and neglect the traditional strength. Finally if you look at Aus for example, they are mising probably 4 fast bowlers due to injury and there is no talk about wickets.

Posted by   on (February 20, 2012, 2:52 GMT)

Well done. Better late than never

Posted by yorkslanka on (February 19, 2012, 17:08 GMT)

good decision as long as its not instead of spinning wickets as we need to maintain these as a home advantage- as every other home team for their own strengths...

Posted by Deepfreezed on (February 19, 2012, 16:07 GMT)

Nuwan Pradeep is done. He hardly can finish an over without breaking down.

Posted by   on (February 19, 2012, 12:03 GMT)

Congratulations SLC for this good move !!!

Posted by   on (February 19, 2012, 11:36 GMT)

It should not be just a request. Board shoud take stern action for the Clubs who do not follow it and make proper response. We should look to the overseas conditions where our seamers are lacking experience. A great move...!

Posted by   on (February 19, 2012, 4:48 GMT)

This is a bit of passing balls. It is a good thing to do this in the long run. But the immediate remedy should be to give the players the right physical training and nutrition to stand the demands of International cricket.

Posted by Sinhaya on (February 19, 2012, 3:46 GMT)

I hope Nuwan Pradeep stays fit. The foot injury he sustained while in England last year wont recur often. What is sad is that Pradeep had to return home in the first week that SL were in South Africa!

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