Sri Lankans agree to final Sixes slot
By ALVIN SALLAY
SRI Lanka became the last team to fall into place in the Hong Kong Sixes jigsaw when they confirmed yesterday that they would send a team for the September 30-October 1 tournament.
Organisers of the Cathay Pacific-Wharf Holdings Hong Kong International Sixes delayed naming the last of the nine teams for the annual event because they were unable to get a commitment from Pakistan, who are currently involved in a Test series against Sri Lanka.
It is known that after Pakistan had failed to commit their top players for the tournament, organisers had asked Sri Lanka to send a side, even though it will be bereft of the big names like Aravinda de Silva and Arjuna Ranatunga.
The Sri Lankan team, however comprises players on the fringe of Test selection and will remain highly competitive.
They will be led by captain and batsman Marvan Atapattu.
The draw for the nine team tournament, to be played at the Kowloon Cricket Club, will take place on Monday.
It was also revealed yesterday that Richie Richardson, captain of the West Indies Test team, will lead his side in Hong Kong.
The Caribbean side, somewhat tempered by their recent reversal of form - losing to Australia in a Test series and drawing another against England - will be without star batsman Brian Lara who made his debut last year.
Richardson led the West Indies to the semi-final last year, but has said that he is determined to see his team win the trophy.
Pakistan were the inaugural winners in 1992, followed by England who have won on the past two occasions and are going all out for a hat-trick.
TEAMS West Indies: Richie Richardson (capt), Ottis Gibson, Carl Hooper, Robert Haynes, Hamish Anthony, Franklyn Stephenson.
Sri Lanka: Marvan Atapattu (capt), Hemantha Wickramaratne, Nilantha Bopage, Upul Chandana, Wendall Labrooy, Sajith Fernando, Russell Arnold.