Tillakaratne hopeful of bright future for Under-19 charges

Tuesday, 22 January 2019 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

From left: SLC Head of International Cricket Chandima Mapatuna, SLC CEO Ashley De Silva, Under-19 Captain Nipun Dananjaya, Coach Hashan Thilakaratne, Team Manager Nalinda Ilangakoon

Sri Lanka Under-19 coach Hashan Tillakaratne was full of praise for his side after they beat their Australian counterparts in a one-off 3-day Youth Test. It was the first time since 1985 that Sri Lanka had beaten Australia in a Youth Test match.

“This is the first time since 1985 that Sri Lanka Under-19 has won a test match against Australia Under-19. It’s a great achievement by the youngsters,” said Tillakaratne at a trophy handover event at Sri Lanka Cricket headquarters last morning.

“I was in the 1985 Under-19 squad that won the test match against Australia. Roshan Mahanama was the Captain and we also had Asanka Gurusinha. Three of us went to represent Sri Lanka in the 1996 World Cup, while several other players who were in the team went on to represent the national team.

“Similarly this victory also shows that the present crop of young players are heading in the right direction and if they can continue the good work, it will help the game in the long run,” added Tillakaratne.

While the national side have been in the midst of a prolonged slump, the Lankan youth setup has been flourishing, most notably making it to the finals of the 2018 ACC Under-19 Asia Cup where their impressive run was halted by a strong Indian outfit.