Sri Lanka’s high performance manager lays out blueprints for future
If there was one international team that could be relegated owing to dismal performances, that side would surely be Sri Lanka. Ever since the commendable duo of Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene retired from international cricket, the side has been in complete disarray. There have been glimpses of a recovery, but barring skipper Angelo Mathews and batsman Dinesh Chandimal, no other member has contributed heavily.
On the side’s ongoing tour of England as well, the Sri Lankans have just been humiliated. After being routed for mediocre totals in the first three innings of the series, the visitors resisted a bit, but that was put to rest by the English seamers at Durham.
Simon Willis, Sri Lanka’s high-performance manager has already laid out blueprints for the future and seems to be in the mood to change the outlook of the game in Sri Lanka. “We’ve got to work together so that when players get picked, it doesn’t get two or three years to get established in international level,” Willis said. “We have to ensure that everything we do underneath – whether that’s A team, Under-23 or Under-19 – is preparing them for the transition to an international environment.”
“That might not be just cricket skills. It might be travelling overseas. People might struggle to be away from home for a long period of time. We need to prepare them for that. It might be playing in different conditions – like what we’ve seen in England with a swinging ball,” Willis added.
Stating that consistency was a crucial aspect, Willis said, “The first thing is to provide an oversupply.” “We need more players than just one or two. We need to create competition. We want players banging down the door to get into international teams – both men and women. “But they should be capable of winning matches on a consistent basis. Not just once a week or in two or three years. We see two of the greats who recently finished their careers – Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene – they were capable of winning matches in all formats, consistently. That’s the challenge we’ve got in our player pathway.”
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