Cricket

Door not closed on Sri Lanka seniors, says coach Arthur


Sri Lanka head coach Mickey Arthur said the door is not closed on any of the country’s senior players after the young team selected under new captain Kusal Perera lost the one-day series away in Bangladesh.

Sri Lanka dropped current Test skipper Dimuth Karunaratne and former captain Angelo Mathews from the ODI squad in a major overhaul earlier this month with an eye on the 2023 World Cup in India.

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The inexperience showed immediately, with Perera’s side at risk of a 3-0 series whitewash going into the final one-dayer in Dhaka later on Friday.

“The door is not closed for anybody — certainly not,” Arthur told reporters on the eve of the match.

“We’ve started on a journey with what we think is a team that will play in 2023, but the door is not closed on anybody.

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“Certainly some senior players can come at any given time depending on performances. We’re trying to create depth within our side, so everybody puts pressure on each other.”

Batting coach Grant Flower admitted that the lack of experience hurt the side, while seasoned campaigners like Mushfiqur Rahim and captain Tamim Iqbal led Bangladesh’s charge in the series.

“The young guys who were selected are good players, but are lacking a lot of experience,” Flower said on Thursday. “When you look at Mushfiqur’s experience or Tamim Iqbal — they’ve played a hell of a lot of cricket.”

Former Zimbabwe player Flower said Mathews, 33, was still good enough to return to the side.

“Someone like ‘Ange’ could come off and he is still a fine player,” he added.

“The selectors and director of cricket thought it was time to blood some new people. Whether or not they change their minds and ask Ange to come back, I’m not sure.”



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