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POSTED AT 10:17 AM 29-04-2019

Prevailing security situation no major setback to WC preparations – De Mel

Lasith Malinga to join team after IPL on May 22

Lasith Malinga will join the World Cup squad on May 22 after his IPL commitment with Mumbai Indians.

Sri Lanka’s preparations for the upcoming 2019 cricket World Cup may have been stalled due to the prevailing security situation in the country but team manager Ashantha de Mel doesn’t see that as a major setback because the two weeks of training and practices they have arranged in the UK ahead of the World Cup warm-up matches should be adequate for the players to get acclimatized and be fit for the tournament.

“We were planning to go to Maduru Oya for a camp and then we were trying to get some practices in Dambulla after that, but we had to cancel them because of the prevailing situation in the country,” said De Mel.

“We are trying to have some practices in Colombo from today till May 3 under tight security, basically they will seal the grounds off as a matter of precaution,” he said.

The Lankan team of 19 (15+4) players plus support staff are due to leave for the UK on May 7 and De Mel said, “We are getting a week in London anyway from May 7-15 where we have a camp at a school in Watford for one week. Then from there we go to Scotland and play two games. So prior to the World Cup warm-up games we have a good two weeks of preparation in England till May 22. That should be I think adequate because the players have been playing a lot of cricket from December to March nonstop in New Zealand, Australia and South Africa and a little break like this is also good.”

“The ICC part of the tournament starts only on May 23 where the teams will be received officially. Before that whatever we do is at the cost of Sri Lanka Cricket. We are taking four additional players and SLC is undertaking the cost. Most countries are taking extra players. If a player gets injured we need someone who is there and have got acclimatized to the English conditions. We are taking two batsmen, a fast bowler and a spinner. That covers all the areas we require,” said De Mel.

De Mel who is also the chief selector said that all the players picked for the World Cup had got through their fitness tests.

“The players were doing their fitness tests last Sunday morning at 7.30 in Colombo when the bombs went off. All the players completed the tests successfully,” he said.

The fitness tests involves the yo-yo and skinfold. “The yo-yo you have to keep to the beat and not slow down. Normally about 18 is the cutoff point and all the players passed that level,” said De Mel. “The skin folds we do is a kind of testing to check their fat levels and all the players got through.”

De Mel stated that fast bowler Lasith Malinga would be joining the squad on May 22 after his commitments with Mumbai Indians in the ongoing IPL.

“Malinga of course is in Mumbai, he is playing so he is fit. He will be joining the team on May 22. He won’t come to Scotland because Mumbai will most probably qualify for the next round of the IPL which will go on till about May 12 or 13 in which case he needs a break. He will come straight for the warm-up game in Cardiff. Malinga has been given an NOC (No Objection Certificate) by SLC upto May 19,” said De Mel. Sri Lanka open their nine-match World Cup campaign on June 1 against New Zealand at Cardiff.



May 18 v Scotland at Edinburgh

May 21 v Scotland at Edinburgh

May 24 v South Africa at Cardiff

May 27 v Australia at Southampton


Malinga creates new IPL record

Mumbai Indians (MI) got back to winning ways on Friday as the Rohit Sharma-led side defeated Chennai Super Kings (CSK) by 46 runs at the Chepauk Stadium.

Lasith Malinga was yet again instrumental in his side’s victory as he played a crucial role with the ball, running through the CSK lower order to pick a four-wicket haul and achieve a unique Indian Premier League (IPL) milestone.

Despite his waning pace prowess, Malinga’s experience and his precision still make him one of the best wicket-takers in T20s. He has had a great season so far for Mumbai Indians and once again starred in his side’s win. He picked up the important wicket of opener Shane Watson in the very first over of CSK’s innings before dismissing Dwayne Bravo, Mitchell Santner and Harbhajan Singh as CSK were bundled out for 109/10 in response to Mumbai’s total of 155/4.

With his 4-wicket haul, Malinga created the record for most wickets against a particular team in the IPL. He now has total 30 wickets against CSK in IPL and stands above Indian pacer Umesh Yadav, who has 29 wickets to his name against Kings XI Punjab. CSK all-rounder Dwayne Bravo is third on the list with 28 wickets under his belt against Mumbai Indians.

Malinga is the all-time leading wicket-taker in the Indian Premier League with 166 wickets in 117 matches at an average of 19.06 and a brilliant economy of 19.06. Amit Mishra (150) and Piyush Chawla (149) are the second and the third all-time highest wicket-taker in IPL respectively.

Sa’adi Thawfeeq