Sri Lanka going through ‘transition time’, says Roy Dias

Sri Lanka’s Under-19 team coach believes the senior team needs experience and backing to get better.

Roy Dias believes the Sri Lankan team needs “more experience and we should not get excited or too much worried about their performance.”   -  K. Gopinathan

Roy Dias, Sri Lanka’s most stylish batsman from 1982 to 1987 - soon after it admitted as full member of the ICC - and now head coach of its Under-19 team, is delighted to visit the Brabourne Stadium, Cricket Club of India.

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“The Under-19 team should be proud of playing matches here. It’s been a tremendous thing for our boys. The facilities, conditions and wickets are fantastic. It’s a good exposure for them. I hope they learn from such tours. It’s not easy to play any Indian team. India has proved to the world they are the best. This is the first time majority of the players have come to India. I have played here. Maybe six or seven players from this squad will be chosen for the Under-19 World Cup. Some of the players train at our academy,” said Dias at the conclusion of the BCCI’s Challenger Trophy Under-19 final.

‘Funny game’

Talking about the plight of the senior team in India, Dias said: “It’s just that we are a young side, there is no doubt about it. They need more experience and we should not get excited or too much worried about their performance. We should continue to play India and other top countries and get the required experience. Cricket is a funny game; as a batsman you don’t want to get out. Sometimes you don’t have the luck. Hopefully, they would have learnt a lot from this tour of India and hope for a good future. We should keep supporting the team, give them the confidence and make them mentally strong. This is the transition time for Sri Lanka cricket.”

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Cricket and the national team are popular in Sri Lanka, observes Dias, and according to him, what is needed is a victory or two for the supporters to back them fully. Touching upon school cricket, he said: “There is quantity, but there has to be quality as well. The Sri Lankan Cricket Board is working towards this aspect. Cricket is ‘the game’ in Sri Lanka and every school wants to play.”

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