The former Sri Lankan cricketer Thilan Samaraweera will assist the New Zealand batsmen during their upcoming tour of Sri Lanka.
New Zealand will play two-match bilateral Test series and three-match bilateral T20I series against the hosts Sri Lanka from 14th August to 6th September 2019. It will be New Zealand’s first international assignment after finishing as the runners-up in the 2019 ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup.
During the Test series, Thilan Samaraweera will work with the Kiwi batting coach Peter Fulton. As the Sri Lankan pitches assist the spinners, New Zealand believes that Samaraweera’s experience will help the Kiwi batsmen to handle the Sri Lankan spinners in a better way.
The right-handed batsman Thilan Samaraweera played for Sri Lanka from 1998 to 2013. He played 81 Tests and 53 ODIs where he scored 5,462 runs (average 48.76) and 862 runs (average 27.80) respectively. As a right-arm off-spinner, Samaraweera also took 26 international wickets (15 Test and 11 ODI wickets).
The 42-year-old Thilan Samaraweera already played the batting coach role of Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. During Australia’s last tour in Sri Lanka in 2016, Samaraweera worked as a consultant coach of Australia.
Thilan Samaraweera’s knowledge of Sri Lankan conditions will be invaluable – Gary Stead
New Zealand head coach Gary Stead believes that Samaraweera’s knowledge will help the Kiwi batsmen to adapt the unfamiliar spin-friendly situation very well.
Stead told in the press conference, “We’re delighted to welcome Thilan into our environment for the Test phase of the tour. His knowledge of Sri Lankan conditions will be invaluable.
“He’ll offer great assistance to Fulton on his first tour. Having an extra support coach worked really well for us at the World Cup, where we had Luke Ronchi on board, and we’re sure Thilan will also offer a lot to the group.”
New Zealand and Sri Lanka both will begin their 2019-21 ICC World Test Championship journey through this Test series. Galle International Stadium (Galle) will organise the first Test of this series from 14th August. Meanwhile, they will play the second and final Test of this series from 22nd August.
New Zealand has won only one Test series in the Sri Lanka tour. They won that series in 1984 during their first Test series in Sri Lanka.
New Zealand played their last Test series in Sri Lanka in 2012. That two-match Test series had a draw result by 1-1.