Chameera, Kumara’s return huge boost ahead of WC – Chamika

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Sri Lanka all-rounder Chamika Karunarathne believes pacers Dushmantha Chameera and Lahiru Kumara’s inclusion in the World Cup squad is a huge boost for their bowling attack.

“Our bowling attack has been further strengthened with Chameera and Lahiru back with the team, and it is a huge boost, especially on Australian wickets,”, said Chamika at a media briefing in Colombo.

“Our process is very good compared to one and a half years, and now with young players I believe we have come a long way. We have to forget the Asia Cup now and focus on the upcoming World Cup. I believe our players will put up a much better performance in the World Cup because they have the hunger to end on a high,” he further added.

Karunarathne, who made his ODI debut in May 2021 against Bangladesh and his T20I debut against India in July 2021, has been a vital player for Sri Lanka in the shorter format of the game.

Since then, he has played 18 ODIs, scoring 376 runs at an average of 34.18 with 16 wickets at an average of 28.75. He has played 29 T20I matches scoring 211 runs with 15 wickets.

Karunaratne also played a pivotal role in the recently concluded Asia Cup in Dubai when Sri Lanka won their sixth title beating Pakistan by five wickets, and in the process successfully defended a score for the first time in 2022. 

 “I have played three sports and came to cricket. My dream is to be the fittest cricketer in the world. I have improved a lot in my speed and fitness level and I love to improve more because this is not my finishing point,” Chamika went onto say.  

“These performances are just 50-60
per cent and there is 40 per cent left. I can play this game only if I’m fit. Improving my fitness day by day will help me to go forward with my age,” he further added.   

Commenting on their preparation for the upcoming World Cup in Australia Chamika said, “Players are confident after the Asia Cup win. As I said earlier, we are looking forward to put up a good show in Australia and bring back smiles to Sri Lankan fans back home.”

Sri Lanka, who won the T20 World Cup in 2014, have two warm-up games in Melbourne before they begin their World Cup campaign with a qualifying match against Namibia on 16 October.

 The team is set to take wing to Australia on 2 October. 

By Mustaq Sydeen