Sri Lanka `impatient` to test Cup venues
Colombo: Sri Lanka are eager to test the island`s new cricket venues ahead of next month`s World Cup, skipper Kumar Sangakkara said today.
Sri Lanka, who were runners-up in the last Cup in 2007, will stage 12 matches of the showpiece event, in Hambantota, Pallekele and Colombo. The remaining games will be held in India and Bangladesh.
"The Premadasa stadium (in Colombo) hosts most of our big matches," Sangakkara told reporters after a training session in Colombo.
"We are impatient to play there as well as at the other two venues to be able to get an understanding of how they are playing, especially when it comes to fielding the right combinations."
The wicketkeeper-batsman said the players were keen to see how the wickets would behave under lights to discover the "idiosyncrasies" of defending or chasing totals and the dew factor.
The Premadasa and Hambantota venues will be tested when Sri Lanka host the West Indies for three one-dayers that were rescheduled due to heavy rains in December last year. The first match starts in Hambantota on January 31.
"It will be interesting to see what challenges they present. Playing on these grounds with the West Indies will give us an idea of what to expect and how to prepare for the World Cup," said Sangakkara.
The venues were officially handed over to an International Cricket Council (ICC) inspection team this week.
Sri Lanka Cricket secretary Nishantha Ranatunga said the ICC team were "pleased" with the venues.
Sri Lanka are placed in Pool A with defending champions Australia, Pakistan, New Zealand, Zimbabwe, Kenya and Canada, with the top four sides making it to the quarter-finals.
The tournament starts in Dhaka on February 19.