It’s still their gig but unfortunately, a political and economic crisis has meant the Asia Cup won’t be played in the beautiful Emerald Island that is Sri Lanka.
Nonetheless, coach Chris Silverwood and top order batsman Bhanuka Rajapaksa said that they will give it their absolute best and hopefully return home with the trophy and bring some cheer to their fans.
“It would have been lovely to play this tournament in Sri Lanka but unfortunately it’s not,” Silverwood said at the ICC Cricket Academy in Dubai on Thursday.
“And I think we have accepted that and embraced the fact that we have to play here. So, our mindset is very much focussed on what we need to do to compete and be successful in the UAE. A lot of the guys have got experience playing here anyway. And we will use that,” he added.
Sri Lanka are five-time winners of the Asia Cup — 1986, 1997, 2004, 2008, 2014 — with the first three titles coming on home soil, but in the ODI format.
Meanwhile, Rajapaksa said: ”It is a very good opportunity for all of us to clinch the title and hope we can justify our presence here in the UAE.
“The conditions here are familiar to Sri Lanka, and a lot of the guys have played in leagues here so that is good. We are competing with good teams, and we are confident of going to the second round and playing against India and Pakistan.
"We have played them before. The experience I am bringing to the team having played in the IPL, will also bring good energy to the team.”
Having made 277 all out in 48.1 overs, the Lions restricted Karwan Cricket Club to 176 in 40.3 overs
Harnessing an ultra-aggressive approach, India's top four batters made a splendid effort in its win over South Africa
His comment since then has sparked a huge debate on social media on whether the Karachi food is actually better than Lahore's
The ground staff rushed in with the necessary equipment and got the situation under the control
India won the second T20I by 16 runs
India take an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series