We have a well-balanced side: Kandy Tuskers Head Coach Hashan

Wednesday, 25 November 2020 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Kandy Tuskers at training at the hotel premises 

By Shamseer Jaleel, reporting from Hambantota

Hashan Thilakratne during his playing days

Local Premier League (LPL) will get underway on 26 November at the Mahinda Rajapaksa International Cricket Stadium (MRICS) in Sooriyawewa with the Kandy outfit taking on Colombo under lights at 7:30


Kandy Tuskers Head Coach, former DS Senanayake College, NCC and former Sri Lanka Test player Hashan Thilakratne speaking to Daily FT said: “Though we had some players pulling out for good reasons but that is the way it happens. Life goes on. Losing Chris Gale was unfortunate. He got injured while training during the Indian Premier League (IPL) and we lost out on Pakistan fast bowler, Sohail Tanveer due to COVID-19 minimum of 10 days. 

“But we have got some very good replacements with Brendon Taylor from Zimbabwe and former South African fast bowler, Dale Steyn joining the team in the near future. Brendon came yesterday and Steyn will come to Sri Lanka on 27 November. Both might miss out some early encounters due to quarantine requirements.”

Hashan also said: “This is a good experience for the local players. They will learn from these overseas players. Sharing the same dressing rooms, their tactics will take our players to the next level and probably the national call up which is their dream for many of these young players. The way they are going to play as a team, mixing with them and playing, will give a very good exposure for the youngsters.  “We have two Afghanistan and two former Indian players along with four of our national players joining the team. The outfit is well balanced and teamwork has been excellent coming in from different countries and different maturity levels all being very eager to have a go. Our first goal is to get in to the semi-final stage and work there onwards as all the five participating teams are well balanced.”

Hashan ended as saying: “Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) is doing their level best to help the country to start play cricket with the support of Sports Minister Namal Rajapaksa who is a doing a great job to start the sport in the country and open the airport. So many lives are effected due to the closure of the airport. 

“We need to move on with COVID and precautionary health methods as we cannot keep things closed always. SLC is planning to conduct a similar T20 for women with the inclusion of overseas players along with a T10 for men which will take place in the near future which is very good for our tourism and to open up the airport with health restrictions.”

Kandy Tuskers will be represented by overseas players Murid Naveenulhaq and Gurbaz Rahmanullah (both from Afghanistan), Munaf Patel and Irfan Pathan (both from India), Dale Steyn (South Africa) and Brendon Taylor (Zimbabwe). Sri Lanka national players from the current test squad are Kusal Mendis, Kusal Janith Perera, Lasith Imbuldeniya and Dilruwan Perera. They also included Vishwa Fernando (CCC) and Kevin Kottegoda (BRC) for their squad.