The Cricket Paper - - OPINION -

IT was won­der­ful to see Sri Lanka be­come the first team to win a se­ries over Pak­istan in the UAE this week, and it looks as if they can be­come a real force in Test cricket.

They have had to over­come the re­tire­ments of Ku­mar San­gakkara, Ma­hela Jayawar­dene, La­sitha Malinga and Farveez Ma­ha­roof and there was a lot of talk about the coun­try be­ing on the de­cline af­ter the thrash­ing In­dia gave them a lit­tle while ago.

But then you think if Eng­land lost a core group of play­ers there would have to be a bit of re­build­ing, just like there was for Aus­tralia af­ter Messrs McGrath, Warne, Gilchrist and Hay­den all hung up their spikes.

The pas­sion in Sri Lanka is off the chart and their love and knowl­edge of the game ri­vals In­dia’s, so there’ll al­ways be tal­ent com­ing through.

Ran­gana Herath has starred for them in re­cent years and we saw Dil­ruwan Per­era take 5-98 this week. Th­ese spin bowlers would be a chal­lenge to any­one, and Sri Lanka still have the power to up­set the odds in lim­ited-overs cricket, too.

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