Keep dreaming, little brother
This Bangladesh are crazy if they think they can beat Sri Lanka in their own den. Right?
Ah, Bangladesh, come, come. How are you, little brother?
Is it still okay to call you little brother? I mean of course your country has a bigger economy and far more people, and you keep taking textile manufacturing contracts off our companies, but in cricket, you are still not that big, no? I don't mean to offend you, but you have to admit, you have never won a Test match against us. Remember how Sanga used to demoralise you, batting session after session after session, just tak-tak-tak? We must frame a photo of his backside and send it to all your wicketkeepers. They must be missing the sight.
Anyway, welcome. Sorry, the place is a little bit of a mess - we just got back from a rough time in South Africa. But listen, don't think we are not ready for you, ah. Did you hear we beat Australia last year? Sha! What a series. This is a young team, no? So, for now, they will struggle overseas. At home, of course, they are lions. You say you are tigers, but please don't be surprised if you have come to be the prey.
Yes, yes, we heard the Bangladesh team is getting better, but come on, it's all relative. Anyway, isn't it a Sri Lankan helping you out? See what I mean about you still being the little brother? Maybe some of our great players like Sanga, Mahela and Rangana liked this Chandika Hathurusingha guy, but you have to remember that he is still a reject from our coaching system, so we are still far ahead.
I'll tell you because maybe you don't know, but it's because he got sacked from the coaching staff in 2010 only that the fellow had to go to Australia. Then when there was an opening for the Sri Lanka job in 2014, he had again said he was available, but our big shot fellows like Sanath Jayasuriya had turned him right down.
Obviously, that shows we don't need him here, doesn't it? Some people say there was political interference and this and that, but we have more than enough good coaches. Why get too upset over one guy who thought he was too good to play the system like everyone else?
And okay, you are saying you have some decent domestic cricket? Then how many teams? Only eight? All four-day cricket, ah? Twelve matches a season per player? Actually, that is not bad. Look, to be very honest with you, ours isn't in good shape right now. We have 14 teams mostly playing three-dayers, and another nine first-class teams got added in a second tier this season.
And fine, everybody knows that having 250 domestic players a week is not ideal for a country this size. New Zealand have five teams, apparently. Australia have only six. But what to do men? Normal political stuff, no? The clubs control the votes, and our board administrators also have to get elected, isn't it? They also have families to feed, and brown-nosing lackeys to pay off. How will they survive without big fat travel junkets and business class seats for their big fat butts?
But still, even with this system, even if we don't really have senior cricket in our provinces, don't worry Bangladesh, we are still better than you.
Come to the board office if you don't believe me, and look at the World Cup we have won. See all the trophies we have from the time Murali was playing. There's a reason we produce cricketers like him, ah - unlike you, we have cricket in our blood. Did you see how many people came to the Royal-Thomian school match last weekend? You can't even dream of having anything like that, can you? If you have a cricket culture like ours, then why bother so much about first-class cricket, men? They say our board president Thilanga Sumathipala is just using SLC as a political tool, but let them say what they want. We will always be strong. Look around, will you? See all the talent that we have.
Okay, to be fair, maybe in one area, we don't have that much talent at the moment. I'll mention it because it was talked about before the series and all: we do tend to drop a lot of catches, and leak runs. And fine, our foreign coach Graham Ford even said it was a deep-rooted problem and that the players coming through to the top level are way below the standard.
But you know how these people exaggerate, no? Maybe for now some of our fielders treat the ball like a pretty girl and dance around it instead of stopping it, but I'm sure they'll get better eventually. It's temporary - Sri Lanka are the most naturally athletic team in the continent, and it's only been bad for six months. Well… one year. Okay, two years. But come on, that's irrelevant. What are you talking? It's not like it will cost us a game against you!
Look, honestly, this conversation is getting boring. Are you hung up on all our flaws because you think you can target them? Do you think our team looks vulnerable because an entire generation of batsmen failed at the top level? Just get lost, men. So what if the top-order is inexperienced? So what if you think we are over-reliant on one spin bowler? We'll show you our natural ability. We'll show you with our culture, and our flair, and just like Australia, we'll put you away with a smile.
Don't get too big for your boots here Bangladesh! Keep dreaming. You have never beaten us. We all know you never will.
Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent. @andrewffernando