Sri Lanka’s 1996 World Cup-winning captain Arjuna Ranatunga has criticized the Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) management for agreeing to host a second-string Indian squad’ without regular skipper Virat Kohli and vice-captain Rohit Sharma. According to the former Sri Lanka skipper, the ‘second-string’ going to the island for a limited-overs series is an ‘insult’ to their sport.
“This is an insult to our cricket since this is a second-string Indian squad.”
“I blame the present administration for consenting to play with them because of television marketing requirements,” Ranatunga, who served as a government minister till two years ago, told reporters at his home, according to news agency PTI.
For the primary time, India has opted to prepare two separate teams for distinct forms to compete in various world areas simultaneously. While the Indian Test team, captained by Virat Kohli, is in England preparing for a five-match Test series against the hosts, an Indian limited-overs team led by veteran batsman Shikhar Dhawan in Sri Lanka during three One-Day Internationals and as many Twenty20 Internationals.
Apart from Kohli and Rohit, the other big-ticket Indian cricketers who are not on the Sri Lanka trip are Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, KL Rahul, and Rishabh Pant. They are all playing Test cricket for India in England.
Limited-overs regulars like Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Suryakumar Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Yuzvendra Chahal, and Kuldeep Yadav, as well as some newcomers like Devdutt Padikkal, Ruturaj Gaikwad, and Chetan Sakariya, make up the Dhawan-led Indian squad.
“India sent their strongest team to England while sending a lesser team to compete in this tournament. That is something I blame on our board of directors, “said the famous batsman, who captained Sri Lanka to the ODI World Cup in 1996.