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SA vs SL 1st Test Centurion – Arthur

SA vs SL 1st Test Centurion - Arthur

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Sri Lanka head coach on his side’s injury crisis and the difficulty of conditioning players for Test cricket

Despite having made their highest ever total in South Africa, Sri Lanka have had an abysmal three days in Centurion, with Dhananjaya de Silva and Kasun Rajitha ruled out of the Test, and Lahiru Kumara also unlikely to bowl again after sustaining what seemed to be a groin injury. Batsman Dinesh Chandimal also appeared to be struggling, having required treatment by the boundary after taking a single off the last ball of the day.

Head coach Mickey Arthur talked after the close of play about how complications from Covid-19 and the Lanka Premier League probably contributed to less-than-ideal conditioning and preparation for Sri Lanka’s players.

On conditioning and Sri Lanka’s build up:
If I take you back to what our preparation was, we built up for a series with Bangladesh [scheduled for October]. We had two residential camps in Colombo. That series didn’t take place and we then had to de-load the players because we couldn’t keep the players loaded up at their level. The South African tour was then on and then off, and then on and then off. So then we had a residential camp where we got our guys back.

The background to all of that was that Colombo was in curfew and some of our players couldn’t move out of their homes. A lot of the conditioning work had to be done at home. Then the South African tour was agreed and the board very generously gave us a residential camp. We had two weeks where we began to load the players up again. And then unfortunately we had the LPL. From our residential camp we lost our players to the LPL for a month – through no fault of anybody, that’s just how it worked. Then we got them back the day we left to come to South Africa.

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