It’s been over a week since Arjuna Ranatunga created a huge controversy by calling the visiting Indian team a “weak side” and since then, people have presented their varied opinions on the matter.
The latest name to pop up on the matter is that of former Sri Lanka opener Aravinda de Silva, who has rejected Ranatunga’s comments and said that have a strong pool of players and it would be foolish to label the visitors as a second-string side.
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In fact, he admitted that it would be a challenge for Sri Lanka to beat this Indian team and if they managed to do that, it would boost their confidence going into the T20 World Cup later this year.
“There is no way we can call this a second-string Indian side. India have enormous talent and this side is as good as any. In fact, it will be a challenge for us to beat this Indian team,” De Silva said, during a virtual group instruction ahead of the ODI series.
“We can take enormous amount of confidence going into the T20 World Cup (later this year) if we can beat India,” he added.
The coronavirus pandemic has disturbed the international calendar and given the travel restrictions imposed all over the world the BCCI has, for the first time, decided to field two separate teams in different parts of the world and De Silva feels it will become the norm in the near future.
“This is a second string Indian team and their coming here is an Insult on our Sri Lanka cricket. I blame the current administration for agreeing to play with them due to television marketing needs.” – Arjuna Ranatunga (Told Reporters)
“I guess I won’t blame anyone for changing squads and sending different squads on various tours, that I guess is going to be the future,” said De Silva, who played a key role in Sri Lanka’s 1996 World Cup triumph.
Initially, India was supposed to play only three matches against Sri Lanka but the BCCI agreed for three additional matches upon the request made by the island nation’s cricket board.
“This is a second-string Indian team and their coming here is an insult on our cricket. I blame the current administration for agreeing to play with them due to television marketing needs,” Ranatunga told reporters, according to PTI.
“India sent their best team to England and sent a weaker side to play here. I blame our board for that,” said the former Sri Lanka skipper.