Pramodya to join SL team in Caribbean
By Wichithra Weerasinghe
National Selector Pramodya Wickramasinghe will leave the island today to join the Sri Lanka cricket team in Antigua.
Ceylon Today learns the Aravinda de Silva led Cricket Committee had advised Wickramasinghe to join the team immediately. The 1996 World Cup winning pacey is also expected to fill the gap of his former bowling partner Chaminda Vaas, who resigned from SLC on the eve of the team’s departure.
Vaas was earlier appointed as fast bowling coach for the tour.
Sri Lanka team arrived in Antigua on Thursday. They will play 3 T20s, 3 ODIs and 2 Tests (all in Antigua) in a bio secure environment, which will be Sri Lanka’s third series in a bio bubble. The series will kick off on 3 March with the first T20, while the second Test – the last in the series – is set to be played from 29 March to 2 April.
SLC selected the National team for this tour without a Chairman of Selection Committee, as the vacant position which arose with the resignation of former Chairman of Selectors, Asantha de Mel is yet to be filled. Even though SLC recommended Wickramasinghe for the position, the Sports Ministry was advised by the Cricket Advisory Committee to request SLC to seek other nominations for the post, and gave SLC time till 1 March to send the nominations, along with other proposed changes to the SLC tournament structure and new appointments.
Meanwhile, T20 skipper Dasun Shanaka is yet to leave the island and is awaiting his US transit visa to travel to Antigua. A bizarre press release from SLC Media Unit implied that Shanaka lost his passport recently, which is the reason he could not travel with the team. But Shanaka, who lost his passport two years ago, had a new passport which he used for recent tours. Yet with his 5 years valid US visa which was stamped in his previous passport, both Shanaka and SLC knew that he won’t be able to travel with his new passport; hence, Shanaka applied for a fresh visa, but could not go for the scheduled visa interview as he had to quarantine following fellow teammate Lahiru Thirimanne testing positive for COVID-19. This delayed the process of getting the visa, which delayed his travel, and both SLC and Shanaka knew that he won’t be able to travel with the team.
Sri Lanka tour of West Indies
3 March – 1st T20I (Coolidge Cricket Ground, Antigua)
5 March – 2nd T20I (Coolidge Cricket Ground, Antigua)
8 March – 3rd T20I (Coolidge Cricket Ground, Antigua)
10 March – 1st ODI (Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, North Sound, Antigua)
12 March – 2nd ODI (Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, North Sound, Antigua)
14 March – 3rd ODI (Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, North Sound, Antigua)
17-18 March – Practice March (Coolidge Cricket Ground, Antigua)
21-25 March – 1st Test (Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, North Sound, Antigua)
29 March-2 April - 2nd Test (Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, North Sound, Antigua)