Sri Lanka lament preparation for India
MUMBAI, India (CMC):
Sri Lanka have lamented the state of their preparation for the one-day series against India, which was hastily arranged after West Indies players abandoned their ODI tour here earlier this month.
The Caribbean side walked out of the tour following the fourth ODI of the intended five-match series, which also included a one-off Twenty20 International. A three-Test series had been scheduled to bowl off today.
Sri Lanka were quickly pulled in by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to fill the breach, but captain Angelo Mathews said, while the players are keen, they were not up to the level of readiness required to play the reigning World champions.
"It's not that we are reluctant to play a series. It is, however, not the ideal preparation for a tour like India. We know that India is a tough place to play cricket and you need your preparation on a high to play the series against India in India, especially," Matthews said.
"In the past one-and-half months, we were focusing on our fitness a lot, and suddenly, this tour came up, so we had to take it.
"After the Pakistan series, we had a couple of months off. We had about 10 days' complete rest and then started our physical fitness because we had been playing right through. We were planning on hitting our peak levels during the English tour, but this was a sudden shift."
Sri Lanka will take on India in five ODIs, starting Sunday in Cuttack. The east Indian city had been expected to host the T20I involving West Indies.
The BCCI blasted the West Indies pullout and have since announced it will sue the West Indies Cricket Board for losses incurred and suspend future bilateral tours.