Sri Lanka Cricket president Thilanga Sumathipala expressed gratitude towards Bangladesh, ahead of the Tigers’ 100th Test, scheduled to be held at P Sara Oval in Colombo.
On the eve of the historic milestone, Sumathipala said Bangladesh are a competitive cricketing nation, just like the other big countries.
“We are proud. We are happy for our brother as they are playing their 100th Test match in our country. Bangladesh (have) come a long way in cricket. Their participation has improved, economics of the game has improved. Facilities (have) improved within the country. Your domestic T20 is getting popular. Now Bangladesh have a very mature, world-class cricketing structure,” Sumathipala told the media at Galle International Cricket Stadium on Saturday in the sidelines of the first Test between Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.
The SLC president informed that they have arranged some programmes in Colombo to mark the occasion.
“In the morning (of the Test) we are inviting (BCB) president (Nazmul Hasan) as guest. We would like to recognise the participating team and give them medals before the game for playing that match. And also, we are hosting the team for dinner (to celebrate) the 100th match,” said Sumathipala.
Sumathipala remembered the time when Bangladesh got Test status. He hopes that the friendly ties between the two cricketing nation will continue.
“During 1998, I was the president of SLC. We voted for Bangladesh for Test status. I was also the president of Asian Cricket Council at that time. As an ACC initiative, we also sent four coaches for age-level cricket (U-13, 15, 17, 19). It has been 20 years since we have been helping each other. Now Bangladesh cricket has improved a lot and they are a competitive side,” he said.
“I don’t think Bangladesh (are a) weak opponent. They are a strong team. Just like other teams. So we would like to play each other as much as we can,” concluded Sumathipala.