Two News Items in AdaDerana …. sourced from Reuters
ONE: “Asia Cup win will help T20 World Cup preparation, says Sri Lanka captain,” 12 September 2022, ….
(Reuters) – Sri Lanka captain Dasun Shanaka said winning the Asia Cup will help the team’s preparation for next month’s Twenty20 World Cup, while batsman Bhanuka Rajapaksa labelled the achievement as a “great win” for the island nation amidst the country’s economic crisis.
Sri Lanka won the Asia Cup for the sixth time on Sunday after Rajapaksa’s batting masterclass and Wanindu Hasaranga’s all-round brilliance secured their 23-run victory against Pakistan in the final.
Sri Lanka, who won the T20 World Cup in 2014, are due to begin their World Cup campaign with a qualifying match against Namibia on Oct. 16.
“We played last year’s qualifiers as well … it’s the set-up that has come through from three or four years back,” Shanaka told reporters. “The last two years were really good for us … and winning Asia Cup will really help for the … World Cup.
“The World Cup qualifiers will help as well because we will play in those conditions before the main tournament happens; so, it’ll be really good for us.”
Rajapaksa, who scored an unbeaten 71 in the final, said the team wanted to show “aggression”. “We all just wanted to show the whole world, a couple of decades back, that we had some sort of aggression in our side. And we wanted to create those moments again. I think, as a unit, we are doing that fantastically well at the moment,” he said.
“We want to look forward to the World Cup as well and to keep up this momentum. As a nation, I think it’s a great win … with all the crisis happening back home, these are tough times for Sri Lankans. We are glad and hope that we brought some smiles to their faces.”
TWO: “Mahela to join Sri Lanka team as Consultant Coach for T20 World Cup,” 15 September 2022
Mahela Jayawardena will join the Sri Lanka cricket team as a Consultant Coach, for the upcoming ICC Men’s T20 World Cup in Australia scheduled to commence on October 16, according to Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC).
Speaking at a press conference in Colombo today (15), SLC CEO Ashley de Silva said that the Sri Lankan national team will leave the island for Australia on October 02 and that former skipper Mahela Jayawardena will join the team in Australia by October 06.
He will remain with the Sri Lanka team for the duration of the tournament, he said.
Sri Lanka have just two warm-up games in Melbourne prior to their opening clash at the T20 World Cup, where they take on Namibia in a first-round match in Geelong.
Sri Lanka starts their T20 World Cup campaign away from the competition favourites in the round one against Namibia, Netherlands and UAE prior to the Super 12 stage of the event.
In an interview with the ICC Review, Jayawardena said he believes Sri Lanka’s stunning triumph at the Asia Cup has changed expectations and the island nation should be zeroed in on winning the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup starting in October.
“If they take the confidence of what they achieved in the last (T20) World Cup and then now at the Asia Cup, I think they shouldn’t be looking at anything other than going all the way and winning the World Cup,” Jayawardena said on The ICC Review.
“I mean that’s the attitude to have and this is a group I feel that will play with that no fear and no extra luggage on them either so just go out there and enjoy their cricket and play.
“They did well in Australia in November when they toured in the T20s. They really performed well. So if they take all that into account, I think they are in a good space now.”