Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : November 1st 2015 Contents The improvement in Milinda
Siriwardana s bowling may allow
Sri Lanka to explore new com-
binations in their ODI side, vice-
captain Lahiru Thirimanne said.
It was largely Siriwardana s bat-
ting that saw him elevated to the
national team, but both Thiri-
manne and captain Angelo Math-
ews have now spoken of Siriwar-
dana s growing skill with the ball.
Siriwardana has three wickets
at an average of 26.33 in the five
ODIs he has played so far. He was
more impressive in the recent Test
series against West Indies, in
which he claimed seven wickets
at 17.71. Tillakaratne Dilshan has
provided a part-time spin option
for Sri Lanka, but if both he and
Siriwardana play, the hosts will
have an offspinner and a left-arm
spinner in their top seven.
"I think the main thing we ve
been impressed with is Milinda s
bowling," Thirimanne said. "We
all knew he has got talent with
the bat, but he has improved a lot
in his bowling. It s a big advantage
when it comes to the one-day
side. We haven t had a spinning
allrounder in the last few years."
In addition to Dilshan and Siri-
wardana, Sri Lanka also have
frontline spinners Ajantha Mendis,
Sachithra Senanayake and Jeffrey
Vandersay in the squad. West
Indies had lost 27 wickets to spin
during the Test series, but Thir-
imanne expected stiffer resistance
in the ODIs.
"We are hopeful that our spin-
ners and slow bowlers will give
us the advantage," he said. "But
we can t take the West Indies team
lightly. They didn t play the Tests
well, but the one day team is quite
strong overall. There are a lot of
players who can change a match
in that team."
Sri Lanka have three uncapped
players in their squad, two of
whom may play in the first ODI.
Dinesh Chandimal s one-match
suspension may allow both She-
han Jayasuriya and Danushka
Gunathilaka to enter the XI.
"I think we ll need to work out
what our best combination is dur-
ing this series," Thirimanne said.
"After the World Cup a lot of sen-
iors left. We then played the Pak-
istan team, and if you take our
batting line-up or our bowling
line-up, we aren t that settled.
This series will help figure out a
Thirimanne himself had been
dropped from the second Test in
Colombo, after a long sequence
of modest scores in that format.
He will bat at No 3 today, however,
having averaged 40.81 in ODIs this
"I wasn t successful in Tests.
But if you look at my record, I ve
played very differently in Tests
and one-dayers. I ve done well in
ODIs, but haven t been able to
replicate that in Tests. I don t
know why that is, but I m expect-
ing to go to the middle and score
runs. There are times when scor-
ing runs is difficult, but the best
thing to do is enjoy the game."
The T&T Cricket Board
(TTCB) has extended
national senior team
captain Rayad Emrit,
Evin Lewis and all-
Cooper on their
selection to teams
in the Bangladesh
The trio has requested
release from their retainer
contracts with the TTCB
which runs from August
1, 2015 - July 31, 2016.
"Whilst the depar-
ture of these play-
the Red Force
begins its chal-
lenge for the
Cricket Board s
PCL title in a
week s time, it creates opportunities
for several promising young players to
step up and make a name for them-
selves," said board CEO Suruj
Ragoonath on Friday.
He said the local landscape is abun-
dant with opportunities for talented
cricketers and the selection of the top
rated trio by the Bangladesh organisers,
shows the excellent work the TTCB
has been undertaking in its develop-
"Even with West Indies cricket in
turmoil and the regional team s per-
formances continuing to disappoint
in Sri Lanka, our top local players
are still able to command atten-
tion globally and their services
are greatly in demand," the for-
mer national opening batsman
Emrit, Lewis and Cooper
will join opening batsman Lendl
Simmons and mystery spinner
Sunil Narine in Bangladesh as they
have been previously drafted
for the BPL s 2015-2016 sea-
son. The latest additions to
the BPL will depart
Red Force s
ington Oval in Bridgetown from
Emrit will lead the T&T team in the
first two matches of the regional cham-
pionship in which explosive batsman
Lewis is expected to open the innings.
However, Cooper, who has played in
the BPL before was unavailable for
T&T selection due to an injury.
According to Ragoonath the three
players will be considered for selection
upon their return from the BPL, if they
make themselves available.
Sunday Guardian www.guardian.co.tt November 1, 2015
T&T captain Rayad Emrit signs to play in the
Bangladesh Premier League.
I suppose that if anyone used the
phrase "I told you so" with reference
to the results of our West Indies
cricket team s two Test matches
against Sri Lanka, credit is no longer
relevant, seeing that many supporters
of the selected team were concerned
over many issues that appeared to
have predicted the results.
However, defeat is well known to
provide great lessons if careful analy-
sis is made in almost every area of
After listening to Sir Gary Sobers,
the most brilliant all-rounder in the
history of world cricket, as he spoke
of the general performances of the
players in the Sri Lanka series, it
was sad to see tears running down
his cheeks as he bemoaned the state
of cricket in the region.
He reminded the players that they
need to understand that their every
run made or wicket taken must be
done with the team in mind.
He uttered fear that failure to make
serious adjustments to their per-
formances on the field and to
improve the mental focus off the
field, we may end up lower on the
world table than we presently are.
That is not criticism, my friends.
That is the voice of a man who had
gone that route by production of
extraordinary talent, mixed ade-
quately with desire to perform with
the commitment of a true profes-
It is all well and good for interim
coach Eldine Baptiste to shower
praises on skipper Jason Holder by
saying that he led admirably, when
the team lost both matches in four
That comment may lift the young
skipper out of the team s pain of
failure. Holder admitted that the
wickets in Sri Lanka were not far
from the way the Caribbean wickets
played, which meant that the players
did not apply themselves.
Surely, we are able to recognise
the excellent performances of spin-
ners Devendra Bishoo and the young
Barbadian Jomel Warrican, whose
success sent a strong message to
batsmen everywhere. Once again, it
was the constructive words of Sir
Gary that were referred to as inspi-
rational to Warrican.
However, did Baptiste, the former
West Indies all-rounder not realise
that our core batsmen were starting
their innings and getting into the
thirties and even into the seventies,
but failing to carry on towards for-
midable totals which will give the
bowlers the room to bowl out the
I was once strictly reminded by
the legendary Sir Learie Constantine
that success can only be achieved
when performances are consistently
bringing results, in the way that Clive
Lloyd, Sir Viv Richards had inflicted
their dominance upon the entire
No one should advocate the
removal of the young skipper Holder.
We all know that his present job is
to gain valuable experience and add
as much of it as possible to his
already established persona and
intelligent approach to the game and
to life generally.
The game can turn itself towards
a better West Indies if the likes of
Darren Bravo, Marlon Samuels, and
Kraigg Brathwaite can lift their scores
more regularly, so that all of Jermaine
Blackwood, Shai Hope, and the other
youngsters can make the task of
applying themselves to be a positive
form of behaviour, through discipline
and commitment, to turn the tables
Surely the Australian tour will be
even more difficult, especially where
the ball bounces a few inches higher
and the pace will be an unusual form
No one said life of batsmen is easy,
but it is certainly not impossible.
Ask Sir Viv, Gordon Greenidge,
Desmond Haynes, and the prince of
Port-of-Spain, Brian Lara.
Why are we surprised by Windies two defeats?
CRICKETER AND FOOTBALLER
"Whilst the departure of these players is a blow to the Red
Force team which begins its challenge for the West Indies
Cricket Board's PCL title in a week's time, it creates
opportunities for several promising young players to step up
and make a name for themselves."
--- CEO SURUJ RAGOONATH
Siriwardana tipped to
be SL's spin allrounder
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