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Sri Lanka Captain Dimuth Karunaratne Praises Mickey Arthur, Eyes Top-four Rank

Former first class cricketer Arthur has previously been head coach with the national teams of South Africa, Australia and Pakistan.

Reuters |May 10, 2020, 1:47 PM IST
Sri Lanka Captain Dimuth Karunaratne Praises Mickey Arthur, Eyes Top-four Rank

Sri Lanka cricket captain Dimuth Karunaratne lauded the impact of new coach Mickey Arthur on Sunday and said his side must target a top-four spot in the world rankings for both the test and 50-over formats.

South African Mickey Arthur was appointed as Sri Lanka's head coach on a two-year contract in December.

Former first class cricketer Arthur has previously been head coach with the national teams of South Africa, Australia and Pakistan.

"Mickey is a no nonsense cool bloke with loads of experience to back him and his brand," Karunaratne told Sri Lanka Cricket.

"At the international level, planning and role clarity is a norm. What is very important is the belief he has instilled among us in his own and subtle way. It sure helped and the results always speak for itself."

Since Arthur's appointment, Sri Lanka lost a two-test series in Pakistan before defeating Zimbabwe at home. The are currently ranked fifth in the format.

The team languish at eighth in one-day internationals but managed to defeat a dangerous West Indies side 3-0 in their last series before the COVID-19 shutdown.

"Rankings is the key word. I'd say Sri Lanka needs to be in the top four of not just ODI cricket, but test cricket as well," Karunaratne, 32, said.

"That would indirectly mean semi-finalists to say the least and you are perhaps two games away from the plum. There onwards, it's anybody's guess and if you do well on your day you could end up being World Champs."

Test captain Karunaratne was himself handed an olive branch to resurrect his limited-overs career and lead the side in ODI cricket when he was brought back last year ahead of the 50-over World Cup in England for the first time since 2015.

The top-order batsman found success with the willow but was unable to lead his side into the last four of the competition.

Karunaratne is, however, positive about the future.

"The boys and the respective squads are enjoying their cricket and that makes my job that much easier," he said.

"If you like what you are doing and the environment to do so is conducive, the balance at this level of sport becomes that much more beneficial."

Team Rankings

Rank Team Points Rating
1 Australia 3028 116
2 New Zealand 2406 115
3 India 3085 114
4 England 3466 105
5 Sri Lanka 2454 91
see more
Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 4820 127
2 India 5819 119
3 New Zealand 3716 116
4 South Africa 3345 108
5 Australia 3518 107
see more
Rank Team Points Rating
1 Australia 5285 278
2 England 4564 268
3 India 9319 266
4 Pakistan 5470 260
5 South Africa 4380 258
see more