Sri Lanka board refutes Arjuna Ranatunga’s allegations, says Indian on tour SL is not a second team

The Sri Lanka Cricket Board (SLC) has responded to comments from former captain Arjuna Ranatunga that by agreeing to play against the Indian team led by Shikhar Dhawan, which he called the second string, they have insulted Island cricket, while India’s Premier Channel plays England Trials.

The Indian White Ball team led by Shikhar Dhawan and coached by Rahul Dravid will play three ODIs and three T20Is from July 13 with the six matches being played at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo in the spotlight. The 20-member contingent includes six uncapped players with other members trying to claim a spot for the upcoming 2021 ICC T20 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates.

Indian second-string team arriving in Sri Lanka is an insult to our cricket: Arjuna Ranatunga

“This is a second-tier Indian team and their coming here is an insult to our cricket. I blame the current administration for agreeing to play with them due to TV marketing needs. India sent their better team to England and sent a weaker team to play here. I blame our board for thisRanatunga, a government minister until two years ago, told reporters at his residence.

India’s National White Ball team currently touring Sri Lanka is a strong team: Sri Lanka Cricket

Arjuna Ranatunga, who led the Sri Lankan team to their first ICC trophy victory at the 1996 World Cup, criticized the board for agreeing to host the Indian team, but the SLC refuted this claim and mentioned that the Indian team was on tour under the command of Shikhar Dhawan. is a strong side and not a secondary side, as Ranatunga called them.

Rahul Dravid with Shikhar Dhawan (Photo-Twitter)
Rahul Dravid with Shikhar Dhawan (Photo-Twitter)

Sri Lanka Cricket pointed out that 14 of the 20 players have played for India in all formats and that the team led by Dhawan is a “strong” team.

Sri Lanka Cricket would like to announce that despite claims from various parties as reported in the media, India’s National White-Ball team currently touring Sri Lanka is a strong team. Out of the Indian team of 20 members, 14 players have represented India in any format or in any form (Test, ODI or T20I), not a ‘second ropes team’ as claimed ‘ SLC said in a statement.

Sri Lanka board refutes Arjuna Ranatunga's allegations, says Indian on tour SL is not a second team

The SLC also said that thanks to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the teams have resorted to the simultaneous roster of two teams and that this will be the first time that India has fielded two different teams in international cricket. In England, India led by Virat Kohli will face England in a series of 5 tests, from August 4th.

“This is the latest standard in the world of cricket, especially in full ICC member countries, as they maintain specialist teams and players for each format of play. The purpose of these provisions is to be competitive in each game format by maintaining specialized players and team. Apart from that, maintaining separate teams allows cricket boards to fulfill their international commitments without hindrance, such as the ICC Future Tours program, ” the statement read.

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