Sri Lanka in SA

Dilshan plays down pay issue

2011-12-14 16:54
Tillakaratne Dilshan (Gallo Images)

Centurion - Winless in their last 14 Tests and now greeted by a pitch that is expected to heavily favour the home side, the issue of unpaid salaries has slipped down on the list of priorities for Sri Lanka's cricketers ahead of their first Test in South Africa.

Captain Tillakaratne Dilshan said his players would instead concentrate on cricket - and trying to win a Test in South Africa for the first time - as they wait for their first pay check in nine months.

Sri Lanka's players had still not been paid by Wednesday after promises from their national board that they would receive at least part payment before the Test starts on Thursday.

There has been no sign of anger from Sri Lanka's cricketers over the missed payments, with Dilshan preferring to focus on a first away series in South Africa in nine years. He expected at least 50 percent of the money owed from as far back as April to now be paid on Friday, he said.

"We are focused on cricket now," he said. "We just keep it to management to handle everything. At the moment we are worried about cricket. I can't follow this (the unpaid salaries)."

Dilshan said the surface at SuperSport Park was the greenest pitch he'd ever seen in South Africa. It's likely to play into the hands of the hosts' pace-dominated bowling attack and make a tough tour for Sri Lanka even tougher.

"The pitch looks good for the fast bowlers," Dilshan said. His understatement drew laughs from reporters - and then him. The wicket is so green that South African captain Graeme Smith had said earlier that the groundsman might be on the verge of panic just 24 hours ahead of the start of the match.

"We've played before in Centurion but this is a totally different wicket," Dilshan added. "The fast bowlers can really enjoy this wicket. Whatever wicket is given to us, we will try to play our best cricket ... We will try to take the challenge."

The odds seem to be stacked against the tourists, however.

Sri Lanka have never won a Test in seven previous matches in South Africa, while their winless run - which stretches back to 2010 and Muttiah Muralitharan's farewell Test - has been compounded by the team's recent injury woes.

"We have to believe that everyone can do their job for the team," Dilshan said. "We heard everyone say South Africa is favourite for this series, but if we can play our brand of cricket we can beat any team in any conditions."

Key batsman Kumar Sangakkara was due to bat in the nets later on Wednesday, as the former captain attempted to prove his fitness after splitting the webbing on his right hand in a warmup match over the weekend.

Sangakkara's absence would be another blow in a catalog of injury problems for Sri Lanka, who lost fast bowler Nuwan Pradeep for the entire tour to a torn hamstring in the same warmup game.

Nuwan was the fifth Sri Lanka fast bowler to miss out on the three-Test series because of injury.



Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
  • Blitz
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @00:00
  • SS1
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @01:00
  • SS2
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @02:00
  • SS3
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @03:00
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Previous Results

Date Match Result

Which of SA's sporting codes is in the worst shape after recent scandals?

Love 2 Meet

Got something you'd like to get off your chest? Got a burning desire to air an opinion? If so, be sure to sign-up on Sport24's FORUM!

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

Newsletters Sign up for the Morning Glory, Super 15 and Soccer newsletters

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

Mobile Sport24 on your mobile phone - WAP, alerts, downloads, services

Forum Have your Say on Sport24's brand new Forum!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

Blogs Yes your opinion counts. Get it out there

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.