WC 2003 - Quality bowlers need of the hour for SL: Ranatunga
Published: Sunday, February 23, 2003, 23:53 [IST]
Copyright AFP 2001
'We want to win against Lanka as a tribute to Andy'
Johannesburg: Sri Lanka's 1996 World Cup winning captain Arjuna Ranatunga lashed out at the current side on Friday, saying a lack of quality bowlers could spell the end of the team's hopes in South Africa."The main problem is that we are really struggling to find quality fast bowlers," said Ranatunga, adding the Board of Control for Cricket in Sri Lanka must carry some of the blame."Former Sri Lankan fast bowler Rumesh Ratnayake did a good job by grooming youngsters like Dilhara Fernando and Prabhat Nissanka," he said."But we didn't look after him well and he left. We have enough talent in Sri Lanka but our Board officials are mismanaging the game."Sri Lanka is facing a nervous wait to discover its World Cup fate. If New Zealand beats India at Centurion later Friday, it will be out.However, an India win would leave Sri Lanka still having to beat Zimbabwe in East London on Saturday in order to make the semi-finals.During the World Cup, left-arm paceman Chaminda Vaas, with 18 wickets, and off spinner Muthiah Muralitharan, 16, have been the only two bowlers to make an impression.Ranatunga also criticised the decision to bowl first in group matches against Canada and Bangladesh which deprived the middle-order of much needed practice."We exposed them against stronger teams like West Indies and Australia and they failed," Ranatunga told the BBC Tamil service.