The Sri Lankan team was due to depart early morning today for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 in England and Wales.
Sports Minister Harin Fernando wishes Sri Lanka captain Dimuth Karunaratne before the team’s departure to UK for the Cricket World Cup.
“This World Cup is more important than ever. I urge all the fans to rally behind the team during these uncertain times,” said the Minister at a simple departure ceremony at Sri Lanka headquarters yesterday sans all the fanfare due to the tragic deaths the country had undergone following Easter Sunday bomb attacks.
“The team is capable of doing well at the World Cup. As a nation, we need to give them all the support, blessings and confidence,” said the Minister who graced the ceremony to wish the team all success.
The Minister further said the ICC had assured they will provide additional security for the team. Sri Lanka are sending two police officials along with the team although initially it was decided that three police personnel would accompany the team.
Sri Lanka head coach Chandika Hathurusingha said the team had enough talent and if they can execute the game plans to the best of their ability they can go a long way.
“Due to the current situation in Sri Lanka we had to postpone the final training but we will have an extended training camp at Merchants Taylors’ School in Watford for eight days before moving up north to play two ODIs against Scotland in Edinburgh on 18 and 21of May,” Hathurusingha said.
Sri Lanka’s newly appointed World Cup captain Dimuth Karunaratne said, “This is the biggest challenge for me. When I was captain during the South African tour I learnt a lot because I played under four captains. Team members were very co-operative even senior players like Angelo Mathews and Lasith Malinga.
“I believe I have more than enough support from the team including all the senior players. We will try and do our very best to do well in the World Cup. It’s important that the fans believe in us and give their whole-hearted backing,” Karunaratne said.