The 30-year-old Sri Lanka National Cricket Team batterhas said that his Indian Premier League (IPL) experience will be very helpful for his side. The batter is also looking forward to carrying his IPL confidence into the upcoming Asia Cup.
The Asia Cup 2022, which is the 15th edition of the tournament, is scheduled to be played from August 27 to September 11. The entire tournament is set to be held in United Arab Emirates (UAE) with the hosts Sri Lanka taking on Afghanistan in the opening clash.
Bhanuka Rajapaksa, who was bought by the Punjab Kings (PBKS) ahead of the IPL 2022 mega auction, performed very well for the franchise in the 15th edition of the tournament. His attacking approach with the bat was highly impressive and it has also helped him bag a contract in the UAE’s International League T20 with Dubai Capitals.
Speaking ahead of the Asia Cup 2022, Bhanuka Rajapaksa said that he has brought a lot of positivity to the Sri Lankan side.
“For me, the experience I bring after playing in the IPL will create good energy for the side,” Rajapaksa was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo.
“One of the best chats I had with Liam [Livingstone] was when he said, ‘If it’s in the V, make sure the ball is in the trees’. He’d just be that aggressive. Proper slam-bang player.
“Coming back to the Sri Lankan side, I have brought in a lot of positivity after speaking to a lot of the IPL players, like Shikhar Dhawan, Mayank Agarwal and KG [Kagiso Rabada]. I don’t think I have the time to explain in detail the talks we had, but there were a lot of positive vibes. I’m hoping we can take that same brand of cricket to the world.”
My experience with Sri Lanka has been excellent – Chris Silverwood
Sri Lanka National Cricket Team head coach Chris Silverwood said that his experience with Sri Lanka has been brilliant as the players are open-minded and willing to learn.
“My experience with Sri Lanka has been excellent. I’ve found the guys are open-minded, and willing to learn. They want to learn and want to move forward. From a coaching perspective, I couldn’t have asked for anything more from the team.
“It would’ve been lovely to play [the Asia Cup] in Sri Lanka, but unfortunately it’s not happening there. We’ve embraced the fact that we have to play it here [in UAE]. Our mindset is very much focused on what we need to do to compete and be successful in the UAE. A lot of the guys have the experience of playing here anyway, so we will use that. We’re here to do our best to win the tournament,” he was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo.
“I think every game is must-win, but if people are talking about something else, you can go about your business [normally], so it is an advantage, absolutely, ” he said.
“But at the same time, you have to meet these teams [India, Pakistan] at some point. We’re busy working behind the scenes to ensure we’re well prepared, equally we’ll be watching every game with interest to see what to do.”
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