Chaminda Vaas, the Head Coach of Sri Lanka Emerging Cricket team was highly contended with the performance of his team against the Emerging side of South Africa, one of the toughest cricketing countries to tour. When the tour was announced it was evident that is was a challenging task, to beat the formidable hosts on [...]


Head Coach Vaas optimistic of his rising stars

Sri Lanka Emerging Cricket tour to Bangladesh

Chaminda Vaas, the Head Coach of Sri Lanka Emerging Cricket team was highly contended with the performance of his team against the Emerging side of South Africa, one of the toughest cricketing countries to tour. When the tour was announced it was evident that is was a challenging task, to beat the formidable hosts on their home soil.

However, the energy and hunger the Emerging Lions displayed against the Proteas throughout the tour was overwhelming. Eventually the Sri Lanka Emerging side were able to beat the odds and be a part of a historic series triumph in the rainbow nation, under the captaincy of allrounder Charith Asalanka.

Emerging Head Coach Chaminda Vaas (L) with Darshana Gamage before leaving to South Africa

Head Coach Vaas praised his team for holding their nerve in pressure situations and believed that this victorious tour can be a steppingstone for the future of Sri Lanka cricket, as they gear up to visit Bangladesh this week.

“It was a great tour. All the players were able to contribute during the tour. I am proud of the team, because beating South Africa on their home soil is not easy. This tour will be a confidence booster and I believe that this will be a steppingstone for the team and the future,” was his assessment of the tour.

Despite being successful in South Africa, Vaas highlighted the fact that there are areas to improve on as they prepare for some important tours ahead.

“When it comes to the Emerging level, the players have the liberty of not putting themselves under pressure. It is the a stage where the youngsters get the opportunity to show their talents and skills and our responsibility is to teach them about the mistakes and encourage them to play their natural game,” Vaas emphasised.

The Emerging team won five out of seven matches in the Tri Series in South Africa and were also able to draw one of the two four-day matches. Bowlers Asitha Fernando and Lahiru Madusanka were the standout performers for Sri Lanka. Fernando took 17 wickets while Madusanka grabbed nine scalps.

“Asitha (Fernando) is a quick learner, he is still young and has shown his talents and capabilities. We have to be patient with such players. It is a great learning curve for him and I want him to play more games to build his confidence and play in the ‘A’ team before being tested out for the National team,” the former Sri Lanka speedster opined.

Fast-bowling allrounder Chamika Karunaratne, who played the Test Series against Australia was also featured in the South African series. Vaas was quite pleased with Karunaratne’s capabilities and conduct.

“Chamika (Karunaratne) has been consistent over the years. He has to play more matches to retain his position in the team, and he is a hard-working individual. We need a player like him. I am hopeful that he will return to the National team soon,” Vaas stated.

However, batting was a major cause of concern throughout the tour. The top order wasn’t able to score a substantial amount of runs. According to Vaas, the batsmen have to get rid of the fear factor if they are to be successful in the future.

Charith Asalanka talks to the press before the team's departure to Bangladesh

“It’s a bit disappointing. We had only one 50-plus partnership during this series. I think we need to fix this problem before the Bangladesh series. There seems to be a problem in their mindset and temperament. We have players such as Hasitha Boyagoda, Sandun Weerakkody and Shammu Ashan. They have the talent but as I always say, they have to get rid of the fear factor. They need to identify the value of their wicket,” Vaas noted, while commending the standard of fielding maintained throughout the tour.

“Our fielding improved tremendously as the tour progressed. It’s pleasing to see the energy and effort shown by the players. We are reaping the rewards for the hard work we have done leading up to the tour,” a contended Vaas stated.

After the Tri Series the touring Sri Lankan team played two four-day matches against South Africa Emerging, in which Vaas was equally pleased by the way his players performed. “Unfortunately we fell agonisingly short in the first game. There was a change in the way we played during the four-day series. We were determined to do well,” he recalled, with a sense of satisfaction.

Vaas sees something of himself in promising left-arm fast bowler Kalana Perera, who is also a capable batsman. Vaas rated Perera as a cricketer with a bright future.

“Kalana (Perera) is a player for the future, he is a good bowling allrounder. Players that are in the calibre of Kalana will be useful at crunch situations. He always wants to be involved in the game. If he continues to perform consistently, he will be certainly earn a place in the National team in the near future.”

The Sri Lanka Emerging team will embark on a one-month tour to Bangladesh, where they will play three unofficial One Day games and a couple of four-day games. Asalanka will continue to lead the Sri Lankan Emerging pack, which will include some new faces, in addition to the ones who are seasoned at this level.

“We are hoping to carry the winning momentum on to the Bangladesh tour which is our next assignment,” a buoyant Vaas said.

Confident Lankans eye consistency in Bangladesh
The Sri Lanka Emerging team left the island for a 23-day long tour of Bangladesh on Friday. The team will play three One Day Internationals and two Unofficial Tests.

Chaminda Vaas, the Head Coach was confident about his team’s chances after the recent success against South Africa and said that they are looking to carry the momentum in to the Bangladesh tour.

“We had a good tour of South Africa and we are looking forward to play good cricket and the players are ready for the challenge in Bangladesh,” he said.

Charith Asalanka, who will lead the Sri Lanka Emerging team, said that this tour will be a good opportunity for his team to play after a memorable tour of South Africa.

“This is our second emerging tour of the year, we played really well in South Africa. I have been given a good squad and hope to do well in Bangladesh too. Hopefully more and more players will qualify to play in the national team through this squad,” Asalanka said.

The 22-year-old Wanindu Hasaranga is set to play one ODI in Bangladesh as he prepares for the T20 series against New Zealand. According to the tour selector Chaminda Mendis it is pointless to keep Hasaranga on the bench as he may benefit from playing competitive cricket leading up to an important series.

“Wanindu’s (Hasaranga) inclusion comes as an injury replacement for Sachindu Colombage and more importantly he is in the T20 squad against New Zealand. We are looking to give him a match in Bangladesh it will be beneficial for him to be involved in completive  cricket,” the selector said.

This tour will be important as they are looking for a pool of players for the Emerging Asia Cup in December. The tour will commence on August 18 and the team will return home on September 7.

The Emerging Squads for the Bangladesh Tour

SL Emerging Test Squad: Charith Asalanka (Captain), Sangeeth Cooray, Lahiru Udara, Pathum Nissanka, Pramod Maduwantha, Minod Banuka, Ashen Bandara, Jehan Daniel, Ramesh Mendis, Amila Aponso, Nishan Peiris, Chamika Karunaratne, Asitha Fernando, Mohammad Shiraz, Kalana Perera

SL Emerging One-Day Squad: Charith Asalanka (Captain), Sandun Weerakkody, Hasitha Boyagoda, Pathum Nissanka, Kamindu Mendis, Ashen Bandara, Minod Banuka, Sammu Ashan, Ramesh Mendis, Amila Aponso, Wanindu Hasaranga, Jehan Daniel, Shiran Fernando, Nuwan Thushara, Kalana Perera


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