Practice row adds spice to Canada''s Sri Lanka clash

Hambantota, Feb 20 (AFP) Canada coach Pubudu Dassanayakespiced up today''s World Cup clash with Sri Lanka by accusingthe hosts of damaging their practice sessions at the newHambantota stadium.

"Our preparations were hurt big time by the nonco-operation on Friday and Saturday and we have briefed ourcricket board back home to deal with this matter," Dassanayaketold AFP.

Canada is placed in Group B of the 14-team event whichkicked off in Dhaka yesterday with India beating fellowco-hosts Bangladesh.

Dassanayake, who played 11 Tests and 16 one-dayinternationals for Sri Lanka in the 1990s before moving toCanada, said he didn''t want to air his grievances in public.

"Sri Lanka is my own country and I always admire theircricket but there was total non co-operation on the first daywhen we reached the stadium for practice and had to wait fortwo hours because Sri Lankan team was practicing," he said.

"When we finally entered the ground at 6pm they asked usto leave after just 45 minutes and took the nets off. Theworst part was that no one took responsibility for whathappened to us."

The problems continued yesterday, said the Canadiancoach.

"The following day we were supposed to get two nets forbatting but since there were covers we had to wait and aftertalking to the venue manager we were told to keep practicing"said Dassanayake.

"But soon they (the ground authorities) switched off thelights, saying that you can only field under lights as per theICC (International Cricket Council) instructions, but when Icontacted the ICC they denied it," said the coach.

"I wouldn''t have complained because of the occasion. Butit happened to us twice and no one bothered to help us,"claimed Dassanayake. (AFP) SHN

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