Sri Lanka's cricket team train with eye on international restart

Lasith Malinga (Photo by Buddhika Weerasinghe/Getty Images)
Lasith Malinga (Photo by Buddhika Weerasinghe/Getty Images)

Sri Lanka's national team trained together Monday for the first time in more than two-and-a-half months to sharpen their skills and fitness ahead of a potential restart of the international game, skipper Dimuth Karunaratne said.

Cricket in the country came to a halt on 13 March when the visiting England team pulled out on the second day of a four-day practice match ahead of their two-Test series.

"I think it is high time to train ourselves and get back to our fitness level and skill levels," the captain told reporters in the capital Colombo.

"We want to start international cricket. That's why we are starting practice."

A 13-member squad began a 12-day training session with indoor fitness drills on Monday. Ground training will start on Tuesday.

The squad consists mostly of bowlers, with governing body Sri Lanka Cricket saying on Sunday they needed more conditioning before returning to competitive games.

Among those training were Suranga Lakmal, Kasun Rajitha, Lahiru Kumara, Vishwa Fernando, Isuru Udana, Lasith Embuldeniya, Lakshan Sandakan, Dasun Shanaka and Nuwan Pradeep.

They will not be allowed to leave their hotel in Colombo or the practice venue for personal errands, the cricket board said.

Sri Lanka has reported 1,633 coronavirus infections, including 11 deaths so far.

The Test series against England was put off indefinitely after the pandemic halted major sporting events worldwide.

Coach Mickey Arthur had customised home-training regimes for many players in the national team after the lockdown was imposed.


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