Sri Lanka news October 3, 2013

SLC domestic tournament replaces Zimbabwe tour


Sri Lanka Cricket has announced a triangular four-day tournament to begin on October 8, which effectively replaces the postponed Test tour of Zimbabwe. The tournament features Sri Lanka's Test side and its best first-class talent. Two of the matches will be played at the Sinhalese Sports Club grounds and the third at the P Saravanamuttu Oval.

The Board XI - which largely comprises Sri Lanka's Test players - will play a Sri Lanka A team and a Development team, with those teams also playing a match against each other. The Board XI is led by Test captain Angelo Mathews, while Dinesh Chandimal and Lahiru Thirimanne - both of whom are also being groomed for leadership - will captain the other teams.

"We want to give those youngsters a chance for the future," chief selector Sanath Jayasuriya said. "Chandimal and Thirimanne are good prospects for the future, and we wanted to give some responsibility to these two youngsters also."

Prasanna Jayawardene will keep wickets for the Board XI, suggesting he may remain in the selectors' plans for Tests. Shaminda Eranga is a notable exclusion from the Board XI, but Jayasuriya said he had only been selected in another team because it would provide each of the cricketers in Sri Lanka's fast-bowling battery with match practice.

"We just picked the teams in a way in which everyone can play," he said. "We put some important players in other teams to do that. Eranga is there so he can play every game and bowl a lot. This will allow us to give them experience and make use of everybody."

The tournament will have first-class status and will be the only domestic four-day tournament played this year, with Premier League matches having been contested over three days. Forty-six players have been named in the squads in total.

Board XI: Angelo Mathews (capt), TM Dilshan, Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene, Dimuth Karunaratne*, Angelo Perera, Prasanna Jayawardene (wk), Nuwan Kulasekara, Sachithra Senanayake, Rangana Herath, Suranga Lakmal, Thisara Perera, Ajantha Mendis, Lahiru Jayaratne, T Priyashankar

Sri Lanka A: Dinesh Chandimal (capt & wk), Mahela Udawatte, Pabasara Waduge, Kaushal Silva, Kithuruwan Vithanage, Ashan Priyanjan, Chaturanga de Silva, Ishan Jayaratne, Dilruwan Perera, Nuwan Pradeep, Vimukthi Perera, Madura Lakmal, Chathura Randunu, Ramith Rambukwella, Bhanuka Rajapaksa

Development Team: Lahiru Thirimanne (capt), Shehan Jayasuriya, Kusal Perera (wk), Rumesh Buddika, Sachithra Serasinghe, Roshen Silva, Dhanushka Gunathilaka, Madawa Warnapura, Tharindu Kaushal, Malinda Pushpakumara, Vishwa Fernando, Kanishka Alvitigala, Lahiru Gamage, Shaminda Eranga, Niroshan Dickwella, Seekkuge Prasanna

*Dimuth Karunaratne was added to the Board XI squad after his name had been mistakenly omitted

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Jayden on October 7, 2013, 16:32 GMT

    I completely agree with Sampath. Roshen (24yrs) & Bhanuka (21yrs) are really young & have a great career ahead. They need to be looked after carefully. Selectors need to give them opportunities when they are performing, not when they are out of form. Both of them are in great form in the Dhaka league & they are in the top 4 highest run getters surpassing all BD & SL players. They should be tried out now & groomed properly. One or two bad patches should not decide the fate of a great player.

  • thilak on October 7, 2013, 12:02 GMT

    Please give chance to Tharanga Paranavithana

  • Upul on October 7, 2013, 12:01 GMT

    why you did not select Tharanga Paranavithana

  • ESPN on October 5, 2013, 19:38 GMT

    Where is kapu, mubarak and few others who are Talent. like seriously i really dnt understand why kapu has been left out. Still there is a question mark that we are finding a solid middle order. When there is someone high talented why dont they give him a another chance. He is not that bad as a batsmen. Remember how he played in the 2008 asia cup and some other matches against Australia. Yes he is down and out but that doesnt mean he cannot play anymore. Players like rohit sharma in India, he failed big time and all knows what can he do if he is form. Kapu is also facing same thing here. He truely deserves a another chance and he too can hit a long ball can attack anytime he wants. players like kapugedera,mubarak,maharoof. Anyways. Let see what can chandimal and thirumanna can do for us in the future!!!!!!!

  • Dummy4 on October 5, 2013, 19:17 GMT

    Forgotten two young star players Roshen Silva and Bhanuka Rajapakse recalled after sometime....these two players are playing superbly in the current Dhaka premier legue. Dear selectors,,, Please give them an opportunity to show their talent...Please do not bench them...If so it is so unfair to them since they will miss the both tournaments.......

  • Pad on October 5, 2013, 11:07 GMT

    One other thing you can do is, make three local teams, and invite a foreign team to make it 4. Then you can play 2 games at the same time in two different venues. You could have invited the Zimbabweans, Irish or Afghans! Or an 'A' team from a more recognized test nation with some good fast bowlers.

  • Pad on October 5, 2013, 9:57 GMT

    Good initiative!! You have to appreciate good things. I have only one request. Make seeming, fast and bouncy wickets!!!! At least mix those pitch characteristics from game to game.

  • Chandima on October 5, 2013, 8:09 GMT

    This is very good thinking by SLC even after droping their test rank in to 7th.They have good long term cricketers but have not enough experience in playing 4-5 days. Ian daniel,Paranawithana,Udara Jayasundara bright opening batsmens missed their way to great future.SLC should practice recast of pitches with bounce and phase at least first 2 days, so fast bawlers and seamers can improve their confidence in wicket taking ability.SLC should try to continue this series anually and asign few foreign cricketers to the tournerment.

  • Dummy4 on October 5, 2013, 5:12 GMT

    @Manojin I don't think we are lacking in fast bowling. we are just not giving a change to the fast bowlers that deserve the changed like Kasun Madushanka, Saliya Saman, Charith Jayampathi just to name a few. Yet somehow Nuwan Pradeep get in the squad because he can bowl with an unorthodox action.

  • Manoj on October 5, 2013, 3:39 GMT

    @Jadejafan: Your analysis is wrong. Check the stats of recently concluded NZ A tour. SL A players won both the tests and ODIs quite comprehensively without old horses, test discards or contribution of Chandimal and Thirimanna which is a great achievement. Even Ind A team couldn't do that in tests. Players like Dimuth Karunarathna, Kaushal Silva, Kusal Perera, Chathuranga Silva, Kithruwan Withanage, Ashan Priyanjana performed really well. I accept the fact that we are still lacking in fast bowling.