Lanka’s old­est cap­tain banks on young­sters

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

COLOMBO: Sri Lanka’s old­est ever skip­per Ran­gana Herath yes­ter­day said he hoped to build on the re­cent Test white­wash against Aus­tralia de­spite lead­ing a young and in­ex­pe­ri­enced team to Zim­babwe. The 38-year-old spin­ner be­came the old­est player named to head an over­seas tour as reg­u­lar cap­tain An­gelo Mathews and his deputy Di­nesh Chandi­mal pulled out of the two-Test se­ries with in­juries.

“I am pleased to be ap­pointed cap­tain of the na­tional team even at the age of 38,” Herath told re­porters in Colombo be­fore the team’s de­par­ture to Harare. “It is true that we don’t have ex­pe­ri­enced play­ers, but we have a lot of con­fi­dence af­ter win­ning against Aus­tralia,” the vet­eran spin­ner said re­fer­ring to Sri Lanka’s his­toric se­ries win against the then world num­ber one team in a three-match tour­na­ment end­ing in Au­gust.

Herath set up Sri Lanka’s suc­cess against Aus­tralia with a maiden Test hat­trick and ended up man of the se­ries. “What our young play­ers lack in ex­pe­ri­ence they make up with con­fi­dence,” Herath said. “The vic­tory against Aus­tralia has given us a huge boost. We hope to make a very sig­nif­i­cant im­pact in Zim­babwe.”

There are three new faces in the squad for Zim­babwe - fast bowlers Ka­sun Madushanka and Lahiru Ku­mara and all­rounder Asela Gu­naratne. The first Test be­gins on Oc­to­ber 29 in Harare while the sec­ond is sched­uled from Novem­ber 6 at the same venue.

Herath be­comes the old­est Sri Lankan player to be named skip­per of the na­tional team at the start of a Test se­ries. In 1983, leg-spin­ner So­machan­dra de Silva was asked to lead the team when reg­u­lar skip­per Duleep Mendis was in­jured dur­ing a three-day prac­tice match in New Zealand ahead of two Tests. De Silva was 40 at the time. — AFP

COLOMBO: Sri Lanka cap­tain An­gelo Mathews (C), Sri Lanka’s old­est ever skip­per Ran­gana Herath (L) and Di­nesh Chandi­mal look on dur­ing a press con­fer­ence in Colombo yes­ter­day. Sri Lanka’s old­est ever skip­per Ran­gana Herath said he hoped to build on the re­cent Test white­wash against Aus­tralia de­spite lead­ing a young and in­ex­pe­ri­enced team to Zim­babwe. The 38-year-old spin­ner be­came the old­est player named to head an over­seas tour as reg­u­lar cap­tain An­gelo Mathews and his deputy Di­nesh Chandi­mal pulled out of the two-Test se­ries with in­juries. — AFP

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