Dimuth addresses Press in Colombo

News Item in Daily News, 26 February 2019, with heading “We dedicate this win to all who supported us – Dimuth”

Sri Lanka’s stand-in captain Dimuth Karunaratne dedicated his team’s historic 2-0 series win in South Africa to all who supported them through thick and thin. Sri Lanka became the first subcontinent nation to win a Test series in South Africa and only the third in history after Australia and England. “We have to dedicate this win to all the guys who supported us, the Sri Lankan fans who supported us. They backed us when we kept losing, we wanted to do something for them,” said Karunaratne at a media briefing held at Sri Lanka Cricket headquarters yesterday.

Sri Lanka stand-in Test captain Dimuth Karunaratne (second from right) addressing the media at the SLC headquarters yesterday. SLC secretary Mohan de Silva, SLC president Shammi Silva and SLC Chief Operating Officer Jerome Jayaratne are also present. Picture by Herbert Perera

The tours to New Zealand and Australia were really tough, we learnt a lot. The players wanted to do better for the team and for themselves. They realised what to do and what not to do, and that’s why we are here,” said Karunaratne who arrived home along with six other players selected for the Test side Suranga Lakmal, Lahiru Thirimanne, Kaushal Silva, Lasith Embuldeniya, Milinda Siriwardana and Mohamed Shiraz.

Karunaratne said that after being appointed captain, he decided to reunite the team and build it in a positive frame of mind. “Niroshan Dickwella and I got together with head coach and discussed with the officials to rebuild the team because talent wise we had a very good side but due to recent defeats we were mentally down.

“There are legal frames within the team’s structure, we never break them but give the freedom to each member to help to build the trust with each other. That’s one of reason we were able to win against such a strong side,” said Karunaratne. “Apart from the batting side our fast bowling unit made immense contribution to our success.”

With regard to the incident that took place inside the dressing room where a private team meeting went viral on social media after their victory in the first Test at Durban, Karunaratne said, “I don’t know about what Kusal Perera was trying to convey about SLC it’s better to ask from him. We discussed different matters but we never expected it to go public. We can’t accept what is discussed inside to go public it is not acceptable.”

The cricketers were met by the newly elected Sri Lanka Cricket officials and secretary Mohan de Silva placed the team’s poor performance squarely on the previous selection committee. “The past selection committee did not give opportunities to talented players that’s one of the reasons why Sri Lanka faced such defeats,” said secretary Mohan de Silva.

A NOTE: the present SLC management has just been ‘elected’ after the ICC ruling enforced a return to the old “rotten borough” system of so-called democracy. However, the selection of the teams was due to the Ashantha de Mel Committee chosen under Harin Fernando’s Ministerial regime. Hat’s off to Harin, Ashantha, Hemantha, Chaminda and Brendon.

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