by Rex Clementine
Lead up to the national cricket team’s tour of England, the team management had lined up intense training as preparation for the tour. The Sri Lankans trained with the Dukes balls used in England, left grass on the wickets and started training early when the moisture was still on the wickets. Now there’s a move to get the Test specialists early to England to go through specialized training.
Accordingly about six players who are likely to feature in the Test series will leave for England during this week. They will be based in Hove and will train in Sussex’s Cricket Facilities before joining the national team ahead of the two match Test series.
When contacted by The Island, Chairman of Selectors Sanath Jayasuriya confirmed that the Test players will leave for England early. “The team has shown some improvement in Test cricket in the last five months and we want to continue that. We are currently ranked seventh in Test cricket and that’s not satisfactory at all. We want that to improve. We want our players best prepared ahead of the two Tests in England,” Jayasuriya told The Island yesterday.
“We have arranged everything in England and there’s a cost involved to base the players in Sussex and currently we are awaiting the Executive Committee approval to send the players. The earlier they go to England and get used to the conditions the better it is. Once the Ex-Co approves the budget, the players will be flying to England,” Jayasuriya added.
The Test specialists probably will work with Consultant Chris Adams, who was brought in for the England series or a specialist coach from SLC’s coaching unit will accompany the team to England.
The first Test against England gets underway at Lord’s on the 12th June followed by the second Test at Leeds. Sri Lanka also play five ODIs and a T-20 International against England.