Eranga in, senior players out for Ireland ODIs

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Shaminda Eranga has been called up to Sri Lanka’s national side for the two Ireland ODIs this week after Thisara Perera failed to secure a visa in time.

Eranga has not played a limited overs international since last year, but is a key member of the Test attack, and has been called up early due to Perera’s visa problems as he sought to join the national team from Kings XI Punjab, for whom he has been playing in the IPL.

Sri Lanka have also announced that they will rest 4 senior players for the Ireland ODIs, with Mahela Jayawardene, Ranjana Herath, Lasith Malinga and Tillakaratne Dilshan all missing the matches, whilst Kumar Sangakkara will also be absent as he plays two County Championship matches for Durham in preparation for Sri Lanka’s tour of England.

Skipper Angelo Mathews says that adjusting to the conditions in England quickly will be key to Sri Lanka’s chances of success.

“As a player the main thing is to adapt to the conditions,” Mathews said. “We have been playing a lot of cricket in the subcontinent and playing in England will be a great challenge for all us especially adapting to the conditions early. In the early summer, conditions can be wet and the ball can seam and swing a little bit. If we can adjust to the conditions as soon as possible and play our brand of cricket we can beat any team.

“Playing against Ireland will be good for us. They are a very good team and we can’t be complacent against them. They know their conditions well and adapting to their conditions will be our biggest challenge. Whatever team that plays there knows that Ireland is very good at home. We look forward to a really good challenge from them and I am sure the boys are ready for it.”

Mathews also said that he expected England to come hard at his team following a disappointing Ashes campaign in Australia, where they were trounced 5-0. Even history is against Sri Lanka, who haven’t won a Test in England since 2006, when they emerged victorious from the Nottingham Test by 134 runs to tie the three-match series 1-1. The team last toured England for a Test series in 2011, where a batting collapse in the second innings of the first Test in Cardiff handed the hosts a 1-0 victory.

“England as a team are very hard to beat at home,” he said. “They know their conditions and they play their best cricket at home. It’s going to be a very big challenge for all of us and we are looking forward to it.”

This tour will represent Mathews first stab at Test match cricket in England, and he said “Playing at Lord’s will be a special moment for me as well as the team. If we can win the series it will be a great effort by the whole team,” he said. “But we are not looking too far ahead, but taking it one game at a time. We are playing against Ireland and then hoping to take that momentum to the England series and try and win against them in the ODIs and in the Tests.”

 


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