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‘Not 2nd string’: Sri Lanka Cricket ‘announces’ that Indian squad a strong side

The Sri Lankan cricket board has released a statement after Ranatunga's criticism, defending the decision to hold the white-ball series against India. "(This) is not a 2nd string squad, as claimed," the statement said.

By: Sports Desk |
Updated: July 2, 2021 7:52:45 pm
Shikhar Dhawan will be leading the Indian team in the limited-overs series vs Sri Lanka. (File Photo/BCCI)

The Sri Lankan cricket board released a statement on Friday saying that the Indian white-ball squad led by Shikhar Dhawan is a ‘strong squad’ and that it is the latest norm to have specialist squads and specialist players for different formats.

Their statement comes after former Lankan captain Arjuna Ranatunga said it is an ‘insult’ that India have sent a ‘second-string’ team for the Sri Lanka series, which is set to begin on July 13.

In their statement, SLC said, “Sri Lanka Cricket wishes to announce that despite claims by various parties… Out of the 20-member India squad, 14 players have represented India across all formats or in some form. (Test, ODI, or T20i), and not a ‘second string team,’ as claimed.”

“This is the latest norm in the cricketing world, especially the full ICC Member countries, as they maintain specialist squads and players for each format of the game,” the statement added.

This comes close on the heels of Ranatunga’s criticism of the Lankan board for agreeing to play the series. “This is a second-string Indian team and their coming here is an insult on our cricket. I blame the current administration for agreeing to play with them due to television marketing needs,” Ranatunga had told reporters at his residence, according to news agency PTI.

With key players like Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma in England for the upcoming Test series, the team in Sri Lanka is being led by opening batsman Shikhar Dhawan and features some uncapped players.

READ | Sri Lanka tour offers players opportunity to push their case for T20 World Cup

India are set to play three ODIs and three T20Is against Sri Lanka starting from July 13th.

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