Malinga says Sri Lanka’s best 15 is in England

2019-05-27 at 13:51

Veteran pacer Lasith Malinga says the best 15 players in Sri Lanka right now have been included in the country’s World Cup squad to face nine others nations, during the ODI showpiece event slated to get underway in England and Wales from Thursday.

Speaking to the ICC, Malinga said the youngsters in the side are eager to prove themselves at the World Cup in the absence of big names.

He said, “In previous years perhaps we had bigger names but these guys are very talented and they are looking forward to proving themselves and making people notice them. We have the best 15 players in Sri Lanka right now and we have a mix of more experienced players and some exciting young players, who just can’t wait to get started.”

On his personal World Cup ambitions, Malinga said he is aiming for another hat-trick at the World Cup having taken four wickets in four balls against South Africa in the 2007 edition.

Malinga was quoted as saying by the ICC media, “Why can’t I get another hat-trick, I will be trying and that would be special.”

The speedster, who needs just one more ODI wicket to topple compatriot Sanath Jayasuriya and move into the all-time top 10 list, said he enjoys playing in the England because of the testing conditions it offers. He said the cold English condition is a real test for any bowler.

On a separate note, Captain Dimuth Karunaratne backed the changed format which sees all 10 teams play each other in a round robin phase with the top four sides qualifying for the semi-finals.

He said, “We know it’s going to be challenging but we’re looking forward to it. The new format where you play everyone is great but it means you can’t get lucky. To win this World Cup you need to beat all the best and be consistent – that is how it should be.”