Bangladesh will be no easy meat
The minnows of Test cricket - Bangladesh are here for a Test and one
day tour of Sri Lanka. Perhaps, the lead-up to the series may not become
hot as Bangladesh will face a gigantic task.
Nevertheless, the forthcoming home series against Bangladesh is
important for the future of Sri Lanka cricket. With Sri Lanka looking
for suitable replacements for some of the veteran players in the next
couple of years, the Bangladesh series would provide the barometer in
our search for talent.
The Bangladesh series would put minimum pressure on our young players
in making it to the international arena. Comparatively, Bangladesh has
no big names in their tour party and are rated at the bottom of the
World Rankings. Playing under familiar home conditions would also make
our youngsters more comfortable.
Hence, itís a double opportunity for the Lankan youngsters who would
be making it to the big league.
After the home series against Bangladesh, Sri Lanka team will tour
South Africa for the 20Twenty World Cup which would be followed by a
five-match one day international series against England in October.
There will also be five Tests against Australia and England.
All these indicate a strenuous season for Lankan cricketers. Itís
high time we keep our top cricketers in perfect shape and also maintain
a good feeder pool so that there would be quality replacements when
necessary. In order to do that, we should start a good preparation right
from the Bangladesh series.
As Sri Lanka Captain Mahela Jayawardena has quite rightly pointed
out, the home series against Bangladesh would offer a golden opportunity
to our young cricketers to prove their talent. Hence, itís the duty of
our talented young cricketers to grab this rare opportunity and impress
It is pity that veteran top order batsman Marvan Atapattu deciding to
skip the forthcoming series citing personal reasons.
Having secured a lucrative USD 100,000 contract with Sri Lanka
Cricket, Atapattu has a commitment to honour, forget the loyalty a
player should have when called for national duty.
Though he has indicated personal reasons for pulling out of
Bangladesh series, Atapattu has been playing for a club in England.
Obviously that too should be a rich deal.
We do not know the actual circumstance which has led to his last
But there were many reports during the World Cup in the Caribbean
that Atapattu was not given a chance. Though he was a mere passenger,
all members of the tour party got equal shares, which no other sportsman
here would earn in their lifetimes.
Atapattuís feelings are understandable as he has been struggling to
regain his place ever since he suffered a constant back injury. Though
he was included in the World Cup squad, he did not get a single
opportunity, which is heart breaking to any cricketer.
However, if Atapattu had been at the receiving end, this would have
been the ideal opportunity for him to regain confidence.
In skipping the Bangladesh series, Atapattu has thrown the best
chance he got to make a comeback. His decision may prove costly, if the
SLC decides to take disciplinary action.
The forthcoming series against Sri Lanka is going to be an equally
important one for Bangladesh too. Having made their presence felt under
former Sri Lanka coach Dav Whatmore at the World Cup, Bangladesh will
make every endeavour to make their presence felt. But they do not have
Whatmoreís innovative ideas any more.
But with the familiar home-type wickets and weather in Sri Lanka,
Bangladesh cricketers still have a chance of springing a surprise or
Sri Lanka captain Jayawardena is well aware of this fact. That is why
he has said that Sri Lanka team would not take the things lightly
against the Bengali Tigers. The Lankan teams think this as another
challenge and are gearing to face it.
Sri Lanka adopted similar tactics against Bangladesh at the recent
World Cup. Having beaten India, Bangladesh team came to the league match
against Sri Lanka with their heads high. But Jayawardena and his men
took the things seriously and convincingly beat Bangladesh at the end.
We should adopt similar strategy without taking things for granted.
Itís good to know the Lankan captain is having the right thinking and
the whole team should rally round him to accomplish the task.
Sri Lanka has a stronger team on paper but that does not mean that
the host should take things lightly and underestimate their opponents.
Every single match is important and the success here would boost the
morale of the younger ones.
Hence, Sri Lanka cannot afford to make any mistakes and should be on
the ball right throughout the series.
That would be the key to Sri Lankaís success in their first Test
series without Coach Tom Moody, who ended his innings.