ONE = Shenai Anushka, in Sunday Times, 8 December 2019, where the title reads thus – “Sri Lanka’s gruelling test in ‘unknown’ Pakistan’
Sri Lanka’s full-strength Test team will embark on a significant tour of Pakistan today to play two matches as part of the ICC World Test Championship. Pakistan has not hosted Test cricket since the 2009 Lahore attack on the Sri Lanka team that wounded several players, staff members and killed a few security officers. The series was initially scheduled to be played in October with the most likely venue to be the UAE. However after successfully hosting the second-string Sri Lanka team in the limited-overs leg in August and September, they forced Sri Lanka Cricket to play the Test series in Pakistan.
The traditional curtain-raiser to the new English domestic season, which dates back to 1970 in its current guise, will be played at the Galle International Stadium between 24th and 27th March 2020. The Champion County match, which sees MCC play the winners of the Specsavers County Championship in a four-day first-class match, was played at Lord’s until 2010 when the match first moved abroad.
Sharda Ugra of ESPN in ESPNcircinfo, 12 October 2015, where the title is “The man preparing Sri Lanka for life after Herath”
If there was ever an opposition against whom Sri Lanka could consider a set of try-outs, West Indies would be it. In the light of Tharindu Kaushal‘s current entanglements over his action, Sri Lanka will certainly need to test the spin options that will be available to them in a post-Rangana Herath world.
The team’s strength at home in the era after Murali has revolved around Herath. In 20 Murali-less home Tests, Herath cleaned out 136 wickets, Sri Lanka winning eight and drawing five. Herath, Sri Lanka’s most successful spinner after Mr 800 is currently held together by crepe bandages and hope, his creaking knees and the rest of a generously proportioned 37-year-old body testing his ability to play through pain. The next two Sri Lankan front-line spinners after him have played eight (Dilruwan Perera) and six Tests (Kaushal); the latter has now been given a rap on his doosra fingers by the ICC.
Rex Clementine, in Island, 21 August 2019, where the title reads “SLC removes spin bowling coach, offie faces lengthy suspension”
Off-spinner Akila Dananjaya faces a lengthy suspension from international cricket after his bowling action was reported as suspect for a second time following the opening Test match against New Zealand at the Galle International Stadium on Sunday. The Sri Lankan team management was provided with footage of about six deliveries which caused suspicion and one delivery in particular is sure to get him into trouble, a source privy to the exchanges between the International Cricket Council and Sri Lanka Cricket told The Island.
Andrew Fidel Fernando, in ESPNcricinfo, August 2019 where the title runs “Sri Lanka are winning, but it’s in spite of the system”
ri Lanka have won another Test, their third in a row chasing a tough score. Their captain dug in for a tenacious fourth-innings hundred. The victory has yielded 60 Test Championship points – an excellent start to their campaign in that competition. Away from Tests, they have comfortably won their most-recent ODI series, against Bangladesh, and performed better than expected at the World Cup, finishing sixth. With young players suddenly coming through, and a capable captain at the helm, it is tempting to believe Sri Lanka have begun to recover following a several-year lull.
Rohan Wijeyaratna,in Island, 25 May 2019, with the title “The Best is Yet to come”
Men with disciplined minds, set their sights on far loftier goals than others given to average thinking. Such are the virtues that have made Kumar Sangakkara become what he now is. Kumar Sangakkara has played many a fine inning in his time. They have spanned across every notable playing field and every nook and cranny worth knowing on the cricket map. They have stretched across all types of the game – from Tests to ODIs, to the T20s. In each of them, his performances have won him accolades from men of discernment. Be it with bat or lip, he has made his mark. His opponents know only too well how fiendishly difficult it is to match him – be it at play or at his lip and intellect, either singly or in combination.
Hathurusingha has been under substantial pressure in 2019, with Sri Lanka’s sports minister in particular suggesting that the team is not producing results consistent with the size of Hathurusingha’s remuneration package. That pressure has been ratcheted up since the end of the World Cup, with minister Harin Fernando repeatedly casting aspersions on Sri Lanka’s win record under Hathurusingha. Essentially, he has stated publicly that Hathurusingha does not deserve a salary that according to Fernando amounts to “$40,000 per month”.
Hilal Suhaib, in islandcricket, !8 July 2019, with this title Who stands in the way of improving Sri Lanka’s first-class cricket structure?”
The standard of Sri Lanka’s first-class tournament today is so inferior that, when Sri Lankan cricketers graduate to play for the national side and are scrutinised at the Test level, they make greenhorn mistakes that should have been ironed out at club or school level. The top Test teams tend to debut players who don’t resemble novices and are prepared for the big league, while Sri Lankan newcomers look out of their depth and in over their heads, even 30 innings into their careers some.
Sri Lanka exceeded my expectations at the 2019 World Cup — a winless exit was a strong possibility. Dimuth Karunaratne’s men overcame the challenges set by their own camp to end the tournament with three wins. There is no criticism of this team for not making the semis. Not losing to Afghanistan is a praiseworthy accomplishment today for a nation that once won the ODI world title and were for many years considered strong contenders to enter the final stages of any ICC tourney.