Political dissonance won’t hurt cricket, hopes Sri Lankan coach

Naveed Nawaz, the assistant coach of the Sri Lanka national cricket team, said the political dissonance in Sri Lanka at present won’t hurt the spirit of their team that is currently in Bangladesh to play a two-match Test series against the Tigers starting from May 15 in Chattogram.

The South Asian island nation has been reeling under economic crisis and political turmoil for months which eventually prompted the Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa to resign on Monday.

“So far I don’t think it has affected us,” Naveed said to reporters on Monday in Dhaka. “Most of the cricketers are continuing to do their hard work. Their training has been ongoing for a couple of months. I didn’t see an instance which affected the players.”

Sri Lanka held their first practice session on Monday at the academy ground in Mirpur.

Sri Lanka is currently in a nationwide curfew which was imposed by the police after the opponents of Rajapaksa broke into the clashes across the nation, mostly in Colombo, the capital.

“You can’t see many positives at the moment. It will be very good for us to take some positives back home. We want to keep inspiring the young generation of the country,” Naveed added.

The upcoming series is Sri Lanka’s first Bangladesh tour in four years. They last toured Bangladesh in 2018. But Bangladesh is a familiar destination for many Sri Lankan cricketers.

Sri Lankan cricketers Dhananjaya De Silva and Kusal Mendis took part in the recently concluded Dhaka Premier Division Cricket League which is a List-A domestic competition.

Naveed believes the familiarity of Bangladesh might help Sri Lanka to do well in Bangladesh.

“We have both young and experienced players in our squad. Some of them played recently in Bangladesh. So we are waiting for a great series of cricket. I think it’s going to be a tough series for both teams,” Naveed added.

Sri Lanka will take part in a two-day practice match on May 10 and 11 in BKSP against the BCB XI.

The first Test of the series will be played in Chattogram from May 15 while the second and final Test of the series will take place in Dhaka from May 23. This series is a part of the ICC Test Championship. So far, Bangladesh won a match in this event.

Source: United News of Bangladesh