Australia captain Aaron Finch hopes his team can bring joy to cricket fans in Sri Lanka amid the island nation’s worst financial crisis in more than seven decades, the 35-year-old said on Friday. Australian cricketers had raised ethical concerns about the situation in Sri Lanka, where protests have rocked the country since late March, but arrived on Wednesday for eight time-limited matches and two Tests over the next six weeks.
“We are here to play cricket. I hope we can bring joy, entertainment to Sri Lanka… This is the first time we have been here since 2016, which is such a long gap,” a- he declared. “It’s such a special place to visit. The hospitality you get here, the friendliness and their love for the game is amazing.”
Protests and frequent power cuts due to the economic crisis have raised questions about day-night games. When asked if they had confidence in these games, Finch said: “It’s well and truly above my pay grade. But it’s all been ticked off between the two boards and the governments before the start of the tour.
“Whether they change the games to day games, I don’t know what’s going to happen… but over the last week I haven’t heard any complaints (from my teammates).” Australia kick off their tour on Tuesday with the first of three Twenty20 games against a ninth-seeded Sri Lanka side in that format.
Finch, who led Australia to their maiden T20 World Cup title last year, has ruled out complacency against a home side containing striker Kusal Mendis and spinner Wanindu Hasaranga. “We had a couple of tight series against them…they’re a very dangerous team,” Finch said.
“If you just look at the top order you have Kusal there who can be as damaging as anyone in his day and obviously Hasaranga has had an amazing few years in T20 cricket.”
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