Sri Lanka rues cancellation of home Tests vs South Africa

Kumar Sangakkara felt South Africa’s weakness against Sri Lankan spinners could’ve been exploited in the Test series © AFP

Colombo: Aug 1, 2013

The cancellation of the three-match Test series in the current South African tour of the Island had robbed Sri Lanka of the chance to impress ahead of the proposed ICC Test championship scheduled for 2017, senior batsman Kumar Sangakkara opined.

Speaking at the end of the five match one-day series, which Sri Lanka won 4-1, Sangakkara said, “The South Africans struggled in the conditions here and showed they were unhappy at adopting. They were weak against our spinners.”

“We could have easily exploited home conditions and gained advantage and could have won the series. This would have helped in our rankings leading to the 2017 Test Championship as South Africans are the No 1 ranking Test side,” said the former captain, who scored nearly 400 runs in the series whilst recording his career best ODI innings of 169.

The South Africans, who had never won an ODI series in Sri Lanka since 1993, struggled so much in the sub-continent conditions that captain AB de Villiers could muster only 137 runs in the series.

Sangakkara added that Sri Lanka‘s Test specialists had also suffered as a result of cancelling the Test series.

“They get only two months of cricket while being kept in cold storage 10 months a year. So, it was unfortunate for them too.”

Sri Lanka Cricket had asked for the three home Tests that were due to have been played at some point in July and August 2013 be postponed until 2015 in order for Sri Lankans to become the third team in the tri-series featuring West Indies and India, which took place immediately after the ICC Champions Trophy in England.