Sri Lanka Cricket justifies hosting Shikhar Dhawan-led India, terms it a ‘strong’ side hours after Ranatunga’s criticism

In their defence, the board highlighted that out of the 20 players named in the India side, 14 have players have represented the country.

Saurabh Ganguly Author

Updated - 3 July 2021 10:33 am

Hours after Sri Lanka’s 1996 World Cup winning captain Arjun Ranatunga had criticised the Sri Lanka Cricket Board for hosting a second string Indian side, the Board has now released a statement in its defence. While Ranatunga had termed it an “insult” to their cricket that their national team would be up against an Indian side without most of its key players, who are in England, preparing for the Test series ahead, the board has stated that the Shikhar Dhawan led Indian side is indeed a strong one.

Notably, this is the first time in Indian cricket history that two Indian sides are in completely different parts of the world preparing for different assignments. In their defence, the board highlighted that out of the 20 players named in the India side, 14 have players have represented the country across formats or in some form.

The release further added that having specialist players for each format of the game is a new norm especially for full ICC member countries.

Second string Indian team in Sri Lanka is an insult, blame our board for that: Ranatunga

“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 earlier told reporters at his residence.

“India sent their best team to England and sent a weaker side to play here. I blame our board for that,” he added.

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

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