Rex Clementine, in The Island, 7 May 2017, with title “Sri Lanka begin preparations for Champions Trophy”
The national cricket team will head to Kandy today to begin a week long residential training camp at the Pallekele International Stadium as preparation for Champions Trophy tournament, that will be played in England and Wales next month. Captain Angelo Mathews is expected to join the team on Tuesday from India having completed his IPL duties. Sri Lanka Cricket will also open a new indoor cricket facility at Pallekele on Tuesday to help the training.
“Our Head Coach Graham Ford has focused a lot on fielding during the last few days. The residential camp at Pallekele will help us keep the team together and we will do lot of planning ahead of the Champions Trophy,” Sri Lanka’s Cricket Manager Asanka Gurusinha told The Island.Fast bowler Lasith Malinga is expected to join the team just before Sri Lanka leave for England. He is currently in India representing Mumbai Indians in the IPL. The team will leave for England two weeks before schedule and will be involved in another residential training camp in Kent. They will play two warm-up games against Scotland. There will be two more warm-up games scheduled by the ICC as well before the tournament gets underway next month.
Sri Lanka are pooled alongside South Africa, India and Pakistan and will take on the Proteas on the 3rd of June at The Oval.
Former South African great Allan Donald has been conducting training sessions for the fast bowlers focusing a lot on the first ten overs and the death overs. Donald represented English counties Warwickshire and Worcestershire for over a decade and will be able to impart lot of knowledge for the fast bowlers. “Graham Ford and I made a request to SLC to give us a residential training camp in Kandy and the board has made a big investment to help us prepare well. We are taking the entire support staff and additional fast bowlers as well and we are looking forward to prepare as well as we could for the Champions Trophy.”
The national cricket team hit new lows in the last five months as they were whitewashed 3-0 in Tests in South Africa before being hammered 5-0 in the ODIs. The bilateral series against Bangladesh was a massive humiliation as the tourists squared the Test, ODI and the T-20 series.
Sri Lanka’s poor fielding cost them dearly during that series and Gurusinha promised to address the fielding woes before the Champions Trophy.