• Malinga: Now is the time to stand up

    Captain Lasith Malinga has insisted Sri Lanka’s preparation for the 2019 World Cup starts in earnest with this month’s limited-overs series against New Zealand.

    The Black Caps and Sri Lankans will meet for three ODIs and a T20I from 3 to 11 January. They will be opponents in the third match of the World Cup in Cardiff on 1 June, too.

    ‘There’s not time to rebuild – the World Cup is this year. Now we have to find who is the best in Sri Lankan cricket,’ said Malinga.

    ‘The last three or four years we’ve struggled for consistency, but a lot of the young players are getting good opportunities. Now is the time to stand up and show our character.

    ‘The last couple of series we’ve performed well at the end of the tournament – what people have to understand is that we have to perform well when the series starts.’

    Sri Lanka last played ODI cricket in New Zealand three years ago, when the home side won the five-match series three-one. There was one washout. Mainga was not part of that series.

    ‘We need to consolidate our first 10 overs, how we’re going to address the conditions, how we build a good partnership – then we have time to accelerate at the end of the innings,’ he added.

    Photo: Getty

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