Karunaratne wants Sri Lanka players in IPL, BBL, county for improvement

Dimuth Karunaratne's men are out of the semifinals race after managing only three wins in their eight group matches; their last World Cup 2019 game is against India on Saturday.

Sri Lanka captain Dimuth Karunaratne prepares to bat in the nets at Headingley in Leeds on Friday.   -  AP

Dimuth Karunaratne wanted his team to leave the Cricket World Cup 2019 on a winning note. The Sri Lankan captain is aware of the challenges in a tussle involving India at Headingley on Saturday. But hope floats and he spoke at length with the media here on Friday.

Immediate goal

We have to win the game to end up in the fifth or sixth position. That's our plan and we intend to do our best. We are playing the same track that was used in the match between the West Indies and Afghanistan. Hopefully we can get some turn.

Stifling Rohit and Co.
We have a plan for Rohit (Sharma), Virat (Kohli) and all in the top six but we have to execute those plans well. They are dangerous and once they get set, they will get big runs. We will try to restrict them and hopefully get Rohit early.

Inherent Strengths

If you take the batting, Avishka Fernando is playing really well and he is one of the future stars. And in the bowling, (Lasith) Malinga and Nuwan Pradeep have done well. These are the positive points I will take from this tournament.

Weak Domestic Cricket

In Sri Lanka, we have only one domestic season and when the players come through to the international level, there is a huge gap. We have to play more and allow our cricketers to go and play in the Indian Premier League, Big Bash League and county cricket. These are the things I am expecting from the cricket board and hopefully they will take a good decision and make us strong at the domestic level and produce good players for the future.

Malinga eyeing next year’s Twenty20 World Cup

Lasith Malinga clarified that it would be premature to discuss his ODI retirement and added that he is keen to play next year’s Twenty20 World Cup. “I just want to meet the Sri Lankan Cricket Board and ask them about what they are expecting from me. According to that, I will make my decision. We have to play the 2020 T20 World Cup's qualifying round. It is a very crucial time for us and I am looking forward to playing that T20 World Cup. I don't think I will make any decision on my ODI career without meeting the board,” the Sri Lankan spearhead said.

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