Sri Lanka's 13-man squad returns to training with eye on international restart
Sri Lanka's national team have begun training together for the first time in more than two months in order to harness their skills and fitness ahead of the possible resumption of international cricket in the country.
Sri Lanka have experienced a complete absence of cricket after England's tour of the island country was called off midway through a practice match in March.
The players are now returning to the exercise of routine fitness drills to recover the stamina before competitive games are relaunched.
"I think it is high time to train ourselves and get back to our fitness level and skill levels," Sri Lanka captain Dimuth Karunaratne told reporters in Colombo.
"We want to start international cricket. That's why we are starting practice."
As part of the initial process of conditioning players, the first batch of cricketers includes a 13-member squad consisting mostly of bowlers.
This group of players will undergo a 12-day training session along with four members of the support staff and all the individuals will be kept in isolation at their hotel.
The Sri Lanka Cricket media release stated that the players and coaching personnel will not be permitted to leave the hotel or practice venue for personal errands to eradicate the chances of exposure to the coronavirus.
Among those training are Suranga Lakmal, Kasun Rajitha, Lahiru Kumara, Vishwa Fernando, Isuru Udana, Lasith Embuldeniya, Lakshan Sandakan, Dasun Shanaka and Nuwan Pradeep.
The number of COVID-19 cases in Sri Lanka have steadily grown over the past week, though this development has coincided with the return of several expatriates from the Middle East region.
Earlier, Sri Lanka head coach Mickey Arthur had sent out customised home-training programmes for the contracted players amidst the nationwide lockdown that restricted the use of professional facilities.