Lead29Sri Lankan head coach Rumesh Ratnayake has termed the ongoing white-ball series between Pakistan and Sri Lanka as precursor of the team’s tour to Pakistan in December for two match series. Speaking to media here Sunday ahead of second ODI against Pakistan, the head-coach of Sri Lankan side said that the tour would encourage others – including the players who decided not to visit Pakistan this time – to visit the country in future. “This tour will be just a precursor for that tour (for the Test series), I am sure this will certainly encourage the others to take decisions we can’t enforce on them. They have taken a decision and we have to respect them. But certainly, if it all goes well then this will be huge thing for the future, not only for them but all other countries as well to be here,” Ratnayake said.
“I cannot tell others, they’ll have to come and experience themselves. I can tell to my board or my players and as far as my experience is concerned, I think the security has been immense,” the Sri Lankan head coach highlighted. He also praised the security provided to the Sri Lankan players. “We are provided security which I haven’t seen even on TV before or somebody has been provided like that. We are told that this type of security is provided to Prime Ministers and Presidents but I don’t think even PM in Sri Lanka would get this level of security. We are protected well here,” he said.
“We are looked after very well,” Ratnayake added. Talking about his team’s chances, the Sri Lankan head coach said that his side had the ability to surprise top level opponents like it did in World Cup against England. He went on saying that being minus-ten doesn’t make his side a weaker team and the youngsters in the squad had the challenge to perform well and prove themselves for the future. “It is generalized to a whole lot, not just one player. Why we saying that we aren’t giant as we are minus ten. So, are on a similar page. I expect everybody to come out, I have told all the players that they all have x-factor. Who knows on particular day a youngster bring out the x-factor that we need as a team,” he said. “It is challenging when we put it on paper but we have come here to play cricket and to win. And, it not in a light way, we have come to compete. What we are discussing is to win, and what we are planning is to win,” the Sri Lankan coach aimed.
Ratnayake added that his side’s preparation had been hampered by rain as their training were halted due to weather even before they came here. “The prep hasn’t been good but that’s not going to be an excuse because they all are professional players, even though they aren’t those ten players who aren’t here but people who have taken their place know they’re here been challenged to do well, it is also for their future,” he said. When asked about team’s motivation, he said that one of the motivating factor for his young side was that they were playing against a top side. “As a coach and as players, that’s our challenge to beat a better ranked side. Even in world cup, nobody thought of us beating England, that’s something we take to this match. It’s a similar situation. And, we are playing to win,” Ratnayake added. He added that the young players in Sri Lankan side had chance to prove themselves. “I hope they’ll grab it (the opportunity) with both hands and do well. We have some very good players who can do well in the series.”