By Desmond Samith | May 22, 2013
Dimuth Karunaratne will be captaining Sri Lanka A in two unofficial Test matches against West Indies A in the Caribbean next month. He spoke to Desmond Samith recently on the upcoming tour and more.
How do you look at the upcoming A-team tour to the West Indies? You’ll be captaining the side, how challenging is it?
It would be any cricketer’s dream to play in the calypso land. The West Indies have produced a number of great players like Brian Lara, who is my idol. So, for me, it’s an honour to be selected to the squad first, and then of course captaining the A-team in Test match cricket; I couldn’t have asked for more. No doubt, it will be a stiff challenge, but I am sure the team will give their best.
What’s your view on the composition of the side and the preparation you’ve had leading up to the tour?
It’s a well-balanced squad with a number of young players. We have had some great training sessions, which all the boys enjoyed. It was a good opportunity that we got in the just concluded (triangular) tournament in Pallekele. I think all the players are in good form.
Do you have any previous experience playing cricket in the Caribbean?
No, I’ve never played there, so I am very excited at the prospect of playing in the Caribbean, which is a great place for cricket. I hope to enjoy the tour and express myself with the bat.
Recently, you were part of the Sri Lankan Test side. Now, you find yourself in the A-side again. How was the experience in the national side?
Playing for Sri Lanka was my dream all along, and the experience I got was immense. I really enjoyed the company of the senior players. Perhaps I should have converted two of the half centuries I scored into centuries, especially the 85 against Australia in Sydney. I’m very early in my Test career and I’m still learning.
I am sure that you are aware that you failed to do full justice to your call-up to the Test side, what went wrong?
I am glad to be selected to at least the Test squad, which in my view is the best form of cricket. Whether I have done justice to myself, only time will tell. But, I am in this for the long run — rest assured.
What are you goals in cricket?
I want to represent the national team as long as I can. I like people to remember me one day as the best Test opener Sri Lanka has ever produced.
Sri Lanka A squad: Dimuth Karunaratne (captain), Angelo Perera (vice captain), Udara Jayasundera, Kithuruwan Vithanage, Ashan Priyanjana, Kaushal Silva, Chathuranga de Silva, Niroshan Dickwella, Tharindu Kaushal, Malinda Pushpakumara, Suranga Lakmal, Madura Lakmal, Lahiru Gamage, Ishan Jayaratne, Vimukthi Perera
1st unofficial Test – Jun 5–8 – Warner Park, St Kitts
2nd unofficial Test – Jun 12–15 – Arnos Vale ground, Kingstown
Desmond Samith is a sports journalist for the Ceylon Today newspaper.
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