I never meant to disrespect Sri Lanka - Seelaar
By Anjana Kaluarachchi reporting from Abu Dhabi
Netherlands skipper Pieter Seelaar’s comment about Sri Lanka ahead of the T20 World Cup created a buzz in social media, where it was reported he had said Sri Lanka will not go through. However, prior to the commencement of the tournament in Abu Dhabi, Seelaar clarified that he had been misquoted on social media and his comments had been taken out of context and created a situation which he did not expect. “Actually, I got misquoted there. Obviously, Sri Lanka is the best team in this group. I did say they should go through.
Only thing I meant was saying we three - Ireland, Namibia and ourselves - will give them the hardest time possible,” said Seelaar, at a media conference in Abu Dhabi. “I didn’t mean to say that Sri Lanka is not going to go through. I was just going to say we are going to make it tough because I think Sri Lanka needs to go through as a Full Member and established cricket nation. Especially us and Namibia are upcoming cricket nations who want their spot, and we need our spot. That’s the difference. I really want to make clear that I wasn’t being disrespectful to Sri Lanka,” added Seelaar.
He also said that there were comments which weren’t really right. “Obviously with social media nowadays it’s been a bit of banter, which is fine, and there have been comments that are not right, which I suppose is 2021. But I never meant to disrespect Sri Lanka. I would not say that Group ‘B’ is bad at all. I think this group is going to be very tough. They’re going to be hopefully some close-fought games,” said Seelaar. Sri Lanka is grouped with Netherlands, Ireland and Namibia in Group ‘A’ in the ICC T20 World Cup Qualifier, where they will have to finish within the top two to go through to the main draw.