Rumesh Ratnayake overwhelmed by the hospitality of Pakistanis
Sri Lanka coach Rumesh Ratnayake has said that the limited-over tour of Pakistan went “smoothly” and it will encourage other teams to play in the country.
“This tour is a message for the whole world, and especially a message for future Sri Lankans,” Ratnayake said while speaking to the media following the third T20I in Lahore. “This has gone very smoothly. Us playing here will encourage so many other countries to also to be here.”
He said that he was overwhelmed by the hospitality of Pakistanis.
“To experience the hospitality of Pakistan is a great thing; I’ve experienced it after a long, long time, and if anything, it’s got even better. It was a lot of hard work for the whole system to have us here. You’ve done a great job in having us here and the security has been impeccable. I’ve enjoyed every moment of it even though some of us came in doubt. But the doubt has been taken out now so I would like to thank you all for making it happen.”
The Sri Lanka coach went on to say that the crowd was the same it had been for the past three decades and he felt touched by reading “Welcome Sri Lanka” signs.
Speaking on the side’s 3-0 cleansweep, Ratnayake said that the boys are capable of competing against any team.
“If you remember the first press conference I did here, I said we’ll be playing against giants. We were the midgets then, so to speak, but now these boys are on par with anybody. It was not the weakest team. We chose the best team. In Sri Lanka we have about 30-40 good players, so whichever we chose we were most confident of. We believed they could do something at the highest level. We emphasised being fearless and having that belief and also the confidence to take good decisions.”
He said that the side the chances of winning matches is because of good decision.
“This performance will bring about a huge effect on the spectators, on our supporters, and on the players themselves. Our school system is a very good system. And those [young] players who are watching, the future players will certainly take heart from this and take courage and you’ll see a huge impetus in the growth of the game in the future.
The coach added that the side were looking for consistency but should be too much awed by the victory.
“We need to take a leaf from this and that should help us take it to another level in all aspects of the game.”