Sri Lankans leave for U-19 World Cup | Sunday Observer

Sri Lankans leave for U-19 World Cup

Nipun Dhananjay
Nipun Dhananjay

Sri Lanka’s Under 19 cricket team left the island not knowing what to expect at the Youth World Cup scheduled to be worked off in South Africa from January 17 to February 9.

The team is coached by Hashan Tillekeratne and captained by Nipun Dhananjaya, a product of St. Joseph Vaz College in Wennappuwa that recently triumphed in a tri-nation series in the West Indies where they beat England in the final.

But Dhananjaya said his players were ready for any eventuality.

“We are ready to face the challenges”, he said. “We had a successful series in the West Indies and we can contest the World Cup with confidence although it is going to be a different event altogether.”

According to coach Tillekaratne, the Sri Lankans succeeded due to a solid team effort in the West Indies but a harder approach is needed at the World Cup with 16 teams in the fray.

“In the past we depended on individuals to do the job, but now it’s all about a team effort and this was something that was proved in the tri-nation series in the West Indies. “

We also had a special training camp and were able to focus on special areas like how to approach the first ten overs and how to build up partnerships that benefitted the team,” said Tillekeratne. But Tillekeratne also cautioned that nothing can be taken for granted as the World Cup was a different ball game with the best Test playing nations like India and Australia also contesting.

“It will be about taking it match by match and adjusting ourselves to suit the situation. In the end everything depends on what you do out there in the middle while playing,” said Tillekaratne.

He said that one worry the team will have to cope with will be in the top order batting while the middle order was capable of playing up to the mark along with the spin bowlers and pacemen which Tillekeratne said was “up to the mark”.

“Sri Lanka is scheduled to play two practice matches against England and South Africa and I think these practice matches are very good for the team to adjust to the South African conditions,” said Tillekaratne.

Sri Lanka will play against India on January 19, New Zealand on the 22nd and Japan on the 25th in the group stages.

Group A – India, New Zealand, Sri Lanka, Japan

Group B – Australia, England, West indies, Nigeria

Group C – Pakistan, Bangladesh, Zimbabwe, Scotland

Group D – Afghanistan, South Africa, UAE, Canada

Sri Lanka: Nipun Dhananjaya (captain, Joseph Vaz College, Wennapuwa), Kamil Mishara (Royal College), Navod Paranavithana (Mahinda College), Ahan Wickramasinghe (Royal College), Ravindu de Silva (S. Thomas’ College), Sonal Dinusha (Mahanama College), Mohamed Shamaz (Zahira College), Thaveesha Abhishek (Richmond College), Chamindu Wijesinghe (Nalanda College), Ashain Daniel (St Joseph’s College), Dilum Sudeera (Richmond College), Dilshan Madushanka (Hungama Wijayaba National school), Amshi de Silva (Richmond College), Kavindu Nadeeshan (Dharmasoka College), Matheesha Pathirana (Trinity College) with head coach Hashan Tillekeratne, Chamila Gamage (fast bowling coach), Sachith Pathirana (spin bowling coach), Upul Chandana (fielding coach) and manager Farveez Maharoof