Sri Lanka coach, Rumesh Ratnayake:
Sri Lanka coach Rumesh Ratnayake praised Pakistan’s hospitality after winning the T20I series against Pakistan by 3-0 after defeating them by 13 runs in the third T20I. Sri Lanka coach said regarding Pakistan’s hospitality that it had been a privilege to be appreciated.
Rumesh Ratnayake said after winning the third T20 that the tour is a message for the whole world, and also a message for future Sri Lankans. Ratnayake added that the tour had gone very smoothly and he is confident that it will encourage other countries to come play in Pakistan as well.
Ratnayake said that it is a great thing to experience the hospitality of Pakistan, as he experienced it after a very long time. Ratnayake appreciated the hard work of the whole system to have them in Pakistan.
Sri Lanka coach praised Pakistan by saying that they had done a great job in having Sri Lanka and the security has been flawless. He added that some of the Sri Lankans came in doubt but he has enjoyed every moment of it. Ratnayake clarified that the doubt has been taken away and he would like to thank all of Pakistan for making it happen.
Pakistan and Sri Lanka were also supposed to play a two-match Test series as part of the original Schedule, but with so many Sri Lankan top players refusing to come to Pakistan because of security concerns, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) agreed on making this tour for limited-overs only.
Sri Lanka’s successful tour to Pakistan is sure to convince more people to come over, and with that, the chances of a home Test series for Pakistan are sure to increase.
Ratnayake said that they will try to convince other Sri Lankan players as well but they cannot force anyone. Sri Lanka coach was hopeful that by seeing this series being a success, more Sri Lankan players will look forward to visiting Pakistan next time.
Rumesh Ratnayake, who had played 16 ODIs and seven Tests in Pakistan during his career, said that the crowd is as it was 30 years ago. He added that it was very touching when the people were holding ‘Welcome’ signs for Sri Lanka and it was very moving to see that sort of love from the people of Pakistan.
Ratnayake also said that when he first did the press conference in Pakistan, he said Sri Lanka would be playing against giants as we were the midgets then but now these boys are on par with anybody in the world.
At the start of the tour, Sri Lanka had to play a three-match ODI series in Karachi. Sri Lanka lost that series by 2-0 with one of the matches being abandoned due to rain. It was expected that the three-match T20I series would see the same results but Sri Lanka’s side turned the tables upside down when they whitewashed the top-ranked T20I side in the world with a 3-0.
Ratnayake said that they have 30-40 good players in Sri Lanka and they chose the ones that they were confident of. Sri Lanka coach added that they emphasized being fearless and having the confidence to make good decisions on the field. Ratnayake praised his team by saying that they were fearless and executed their game plans brilliantly.
Ratnayake was hopeful that their performance in this tour will have a huge effect on the spectators, supporters, and the players themselves. He further added that the young players will learn from this and take it to another level in all aspects of the game.