Pink ball makes its debut in Sri Lanka | Daily News


Pink ball makes its debut in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka ‘A’ skipper Dimuth Karunaratne (right) and West Indies ‘A’ captain Shamarh Brooks with the trophy that will be awarded to the winners of the unofficial test series at the JAIC Hilton yesterday. Picture by Wimal Karunathilaka

The much talked about pink ball will make its debut in Sri Lanka when the first unofficial four-day test between Sri Lanka ‘A’ and the touring West Indies ‘A’ team commences at the R. Premadasa International Stadium today.

Sri Lanka ‘A’ skipper Dimuth Karunaratne was of the view that the pink ball does not differ to the usual red ball to a great extent.

“We have had few practice sessions with the pink ball and found it very much similar to the red ball. But with the use, pink ball gets a bit strange with the faded colour,” Karunaratne said at the press conference held at Jaic Hilton yesterday to launch the series.

Karunaratne warmly welcomed the Caribbeans and hoped they will enjoy playing in Sri Lanka.

Visiting captain Shamarh Brooks said that they had played with the pink ball in the Caribbean and are quite used to it.

“The balls we use in the Caribbean are a bit light in colour, these balls are more bright coloured,” Brooks said.

Campaigners for the national team’s opening slot Dimuth Karunaratne, Roshen Silva and Lahiru Thirimanne will perform at their best to impress the national selectors while the other youngsters too will test their skills to get into the national squad as this tour will serve as a talent search to fill the vacuums in the national team. When asked how he felt about the competition with Lahiru and Roshen, Karunaratne emphasized that they all play for the country and would not focus on personal success.

“I think we have a strong team with some drop outs from the national squad. So this is a great chance for all of them to regain their form and perform well for the country,” he stated.

Sri Lanka ‘A’ coach Avishka Gunawardene said their main aim is to find the next national caps who can fill the shortcomings of the national squad.

“The Zimbabwe and South African tours are coming and we have to find more fast bowlers so we will focus more on the fast bowlers during this series as that is the national side’s need of the hour,” said Gunawardene.

“We have a good balanced side including under 19 players who performed well at the last under 19 World Cup.”

Caribbean coach Graeme West went on to say that though they have a less-experienced team they all are full of enthusiasm, so hopefully players will perform well.

“When you travel to a different part of the world and play, it is always a challenge. We have identified that the Sri Lanka team is strong in their batting department and will arrange our game plan with that in mind,” he said.

West Indies will play three four-day first class games and three ODI’s during their month-long stay here.

This tour will hopefully produce the much needed ‘back on track’ formula for both local players and to cricket fans who are desperate to savour a victory after the country’s bitter ODI and T20 series losses to Australia.


The teams:

SRI LANKA ‘A’: Dimuth Karunaratne (captain), Kusal Perera, Charith Asalanka, Niroshan Dickwella, Asith Fernando, Anuk Fernando, Avishka Fernando, Asela Gunaratne, Prabath Jayasuriya, Lahiru Kumara, Kasun Madushanka, Vimukthi Perera, Lakshan Sandakan, Roshen Silva, Lahiru Thirimanne.

WEST INDIES ‘A’: Shamarh Brooks (captain), Vishaul Singh, Rajendra Chandrika, Rahkeem Cornwall, Jahmar Hamilton, Shimron Hetmyer, Damion Jacobs, Delorn Johnson, Keon Joseph, Reynard Leveridge, Evin Lewis, Gudakesh Motie, Kieran Powell, Kemar Roach.

Match Itinerary:

Unofficial four-day matches:

1. R. Premadasa International Stadium – Oct. 4 to 7

2. Pallekele International Stadium – Oct. 11 to 14

3. Rangiri Dambulu Internationa Stadium – Oct. 18-21

Unofficial ODI’s:

1. Rangiri Dambulla International Stadium – Oct. 24

2. Welagedara Stadium – Kurunegala – Oct. 27

3. R. Premadasa International Stadium – Oct. 30

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