Sri Lanka skipper Kusal Perera admitted that the ongoing impasse between the national cricketers and the board is a matter of concern. However, he asserted that the team is focused on the ODI series against Bangladesh, which begins on May 23.
The Sri Lankan cricketers have refused to sign new contracts offered by Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC). The main bone of contention for the players is the lack of clarity over the five-point grading system, which will decide their earnings.
The Sri Lankan players even issued an official statement on Friday, stating they were shocked and dismayed over SLC’s handling of the contracts.
Speaking to the media ahead of the Bangladesh series, Kusal Perera stated:
“We don’t want to think too much about the ongoing contract issue with the board since we’re focused on the series at this moment. Yes, it is a concern for all of us but we’re hoping it will be resolved soon.”
Kusal Perera will be leading a highly inexperienced squad without the likes of Angelo Mathews and Dimuth Karunaratne. He is hopeful that the young side will learn quickly. He added:
”Sometimes you need to get hit and learn from your mistakes.”
The new captain also said that it will be important to be patient with the bowlers as well since they too are new to the job. He added:
“We have plans for our death bowling, but it’s important to keep in mind that that’s a role that you only get better at with experience. We can’t expect perfection from the start, our bowlers are new to this role so we need to have patience.”
Expecting wickets to turn: Sri Lanka skipper Kusal Perera
On the kind of wickets he thinks would be on offer, Kusal Perera admitted the pitches will be expected to offer turn to aid Bangladesh’s slow bowlers. He explained:
“We know that one of Bangladesh’s strengths is their spin bowling attack, so we expect wickets to cater to that. I think our fielding has the potential to make a huge impact on this series.”
Bangladesh recently announced their 15-member squad for the first two matches of the ODI series against Sri Lanka. Shakib Al Hasan returned to the side after being granted paternity leave for the tour of New Zealand. He was also battling a thigh injury.
All three matches of the Sri Lanka-Bangladesh ODI series will be played at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur, Dhaka. The series will begin with the first game on Sunday.
The second and third one-dayers will take place on May 25 and 28 respectively.