“It’s unfair” – Maheesh Theekshana opens up on Sri Lanka’s gruelling T20 World Cup schedule
By SMCS - Jun 4, 2024 11:00 am
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Sri Lanka spinner Maheesh Theekshana slammed the tough World Cup schedule that his team has been going through, calling it ‘unfair’. Sri Lanka are one of only two teams (the other is the Netherlands) who are playing their four group-stage matches in four different venues as well. Meanwhile, Sri Lanka’s hotel in New York where they opened their campaign against South Africa on June 3 was an hour and 40 minutes away from the venue as well. They also had to deal with delayed flights and hours spent at airports.

Maheesh Theekshana
Maheesh Theekshana

“So unfair for us, we have to leave every day [after the match] because we are playing [at] four different venues,” Theekshana said after his team’s defeat to South Africa. “It’s unfair. The flight we took from Florida, from Miami, we had to wait like eight hours in the airport to get the flight. And we came around. We were supposed to leave at 8pm but we got the flight at 5am. It’s really unfair for us, but it doesn’t matter when you play [on the field].”

“I can’t say the names of the teams that have got the opportunity to stay in the same place but their hotel is only 14 minutes to the ground. Ours was like one hour and 40 minutes. Because even from the hotel, it’s one hour and 40 minutes. Even today [match day], we had to wake up around 5am to come here,” Theekshana said.

However, Theekshana also added that playing each game in different venues made things difficult for Sri Lanka as they weren’t able to know or assess conditions quickly. Their game against South Africa was the first of the World Cup in New York where they opted to bat first and bundled for 77 in a six-wicket defeat as well.

Maheesh Theekshana

“All four games in four venues. It’s hard. We didn’t know [anything about the conditions here]. This was our first game in New York. Next game in Dallas, we don’t know [anything about the conditions there]. Next game is in Florida where we played two games, that’s the only plus point we have,” Theekshana said. “I can’t say the [names of the] teams that are playing in the same venue, so they know what the conditions are like. They’re playing practice games at the same venue. No one will get that. We played the practice games in Florida, and our third game’s in Florida.”

“There’s some things that I think that everyone will rethink about next year because I know that this year, nothing will change. Our management is trying to fix today’s flight also because we are playing, we have to pack everything and [leave]. We woke up around 5.30 to come here, and [it plays on the mind, what] if we miss something here [while packing in a hurry],” he concluded.