Randiv will emerge stronger: De Silva

Randiv will emerge stronger: De Silva

The former national captain, now the chairman of the selection committee, was at hand to witness Sri Lanka trounce India on Sunday on their way to the final of the tri-series in a must-win game for the hosts.

“You need to play your best when you have your backs to the wall, and I was happy we came up with an impressive effort. Now, we need to concentrate on winning the final,” the one-time dashing right-hander said. “Our record in finals at home in recent years is not good.

This is an opportunity to get that right.” Switching focus to Randiv, he went on, “I feel sorry for Suraj. He’s a young guy and he would have taken it badly, but it would have been a good learning experience for him. SLC dealt with the matter strongly, insisting that at all times, we need to do the right thing and play the game in the right spirit. I am sure he will learn from such mistakes.”

Off-spinning legend Muttiah Muralitharan, recently retired from Test cricket, would need to play some competitive cricket before the World Cup, De Silva insisted. “We spoke to him, and kept asking him if he has been training. Apart from the Champions League, I feel he should get some cricket under his belt before the World Cup. We are not necessarily expecting him to play against the West Indies at home unless he wants to play. He’ll probably be back for the Australia tour (at the end of the year). Maybe after that, we’d like to see him in a few domestic matches.”

Sri Lanka play just nine more one-dayers before the World Cup, but De Silva said that was no problem area. “That’s why the team management requested us to have the domestic inter-provincial tournament just before the World Cup. They wanted to play prior to the World Cup, we didn’t want it to be too close because if there are injuries, players need to recover. The tournament will now end three weeks before the World Cup. It has been very competitive in previous years and I am sure it will be a good test before the big event.”

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