Sri Lankans feel the pinch after two washouts


Sri Lanka’s captain Dimuth Karunaratne attends a training session at Bristol County Ground in Bristol, southwest England, on June 10, 2019, ahead of their 2019 Cricket World Cup group stage match against Bangladesh. Saeed KHAN / AFP

Rex Clementine in Bristol

Sri Lanka are coming to terms with the fact that there’s little room for error in their remaining fixtures of the ICC Cricket World Cup, after their successive games were abandoned due to inclement weather. After last week’s group fixture against Pakistan was washed out, the players remained in their hotel rooms yesterday as torrential rain and then a wet outfield forced officials to abandon Tuesday’s fixture against Bangladesh as well here in Bristol.

Sri Lanka skipper Dimuth Karunaratne expressed his disappointment that both games were washed out and the points were shared. "Sometimes you might think that if we share the points it is fine but we don’t want to get points freely. We want to play competitive cricket, win games and gain points."

The former champions will now head to London to take on Australia at The Oval on Saturday with little momentum behind them. By the time they take on the defending champions, it would be 11 days since their last game against Afghanistan.

"After the Afghanistan game, we would have spent 11 days without playing a game. We have to keep the winning momentum since Afghanistan for the Australian match. We played a practice game against Australia and we know how they play and what they are capable of doing."

Dimuth felt that the presence of reserve days would have stood the teams in good stead. "If the ICC can give us a reserve day, that’s fine. It’s a major tournament and we are playing nine games. I don’t think it is possible to give us an additional day because we have to travel the day after the match. It is not easy but I feel if they can have a reserve day, it will be good for everyone."

Bangladesh Head Coach Steve Rhodes shared similar sentiments. "If you know the English weather, sadly, we’re going to get a lot of rain. I know logistically, it would have been a big headache for the tournament organizers, and I know that it would have been difficult, but we have got quite a lot of time in between games, and if we have got to travel a day later, then so be it. We put men on the moon so why can’t we have a reserve day, when actually this tournament is a long tournament."

Sri Lanka have some tough fixtures ahead of them over the next two weeks. "After these two games, we are getting some tough matches ahead and all the team are against sides that are on top of the table. We must be prepared to face the challenges in the few days we have especially the mental side. We have to adapt quickly because we have not played two matches in 11 days," added Karunaratne.

"We have four points at the moment and we have to win at least two matches from the remaining games to be among the top four. It is a challenge we face to try and win every game we play," concluded Karunaratne.

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