“We want to play with the national team but there are so many fast bowlers that we have to go through a tough competition,” T Sanjeewa Bandara told cricketingnepal.com about the competition normally found in a Test playing nation like Sri Lanka.
Bandara is one of the four Sri Lankan fast bowlers hired by the High Performance Programme formed to prepare the Nepali national cricket team for the ICC World Twenty20 Qualifiers and ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifiers.
The arrival of Sri Lankan pacers comes under HPP plans to accustom cricketers in seaming conditions. cricketingnepal.com hooked up with the Sri Lankan pacers for a brief chat and found they were happy to be in Kathmandu.
The U-19 fast bowlers are currently playing first Division cricket in Sri Lanka with different clubs and aspire to play with Sri Lankan national team. Bandara plays for Sri Lanka Ports Authority Cricket Club from where Nepal’s Amrit Bhattarai and Chandra Saud played the U-23 First Division League and Nuwan Karunaratne play for Coalts.
MW Ruwinda Sharmen has been playing for Badu Raliya Cricket Club and Romesh Kaluarachhi has been a member of the Sri Lankan fast bowling squad.
While Bandara and Karunaratnne arrived just two days before, Sharmen and Kaluarachhi have been here almost last three weeks. Kaluarachhi feels that Nepali batsmen are good. “They (Nepali batsmen) are very good and have great skills,” said Kaluarachhi.
“We would like to wish them all the best for the Tweny20 and One-day Qualifiers and we even expect them to better and reach the World Cup,” added Kaluarachhi, who along with Sharmen bowl at an average speed of 135 km/ph — a perfect speed for Nepali batsmen who barely face 130kmph in domestic cricket.
There were a lot of things for Bandara to cherish in Nepal. “Nepal is really a good country and in Kathmandu we can see a lot of mountain. The food here is very nice and people are very friendly,” said Bandara whose excitement was pulled a little back by the dusty capital city which is currently in chaos due to long going road expansion works.
Karunaratne was troubled by his ankle injury after he landed in Kathmandu and hoped he will one day be able to represent Sri Lanka in international cricket but he knows the road is very tough for him.
“Sri Lanka have been producing a lot of fast seamers and the SL fast bowling squad has helped a lot. Its hard to get picked up among the many bowlers itching to hit the international stage. Hopefully, I will manage to come as the best,” said Karunaratne.