PUNE, INDIA - MARCH 26: England wicketkeeper Jos Buttler looks on as India batsman Virat Kohli cuts a ball for some runs during the 2nd One Day International between India and England at MCA Stadium on March 26, 2021 in Pune, India. (Photo by Surjeet Yadav/Getty Images)

Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) has praised Indian cricket legend Rahul Dravid for ensuring the India-Sri Lanka series completion.

SLC said that the tour could have been discontinued at any time, and acknowledged Dravid for seeing to it that it finished. The doubt was due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which saw many of India’s players sidelined. Yet, India continued to play thanks to Dravid, and SLC duly noted the same.

Speaking to Cricbuzz, secretary of SLC Mohan de Silva said, “If he (Dravid) wanted, he could have easily taken the team back to India.

Rahul Dravid: The Great Wall of India - BBC Sport
Rahul Dravid (pictured) oversaw cricket completion over other issues. Source: bbc.co.uk

“The most encouraging aspect of the whole Pandya episode was the role of the support staff of the Indian team, led by Rahul. If he wanted, he could have easily taken the team back to India. He was very accommodating and understood the situation.

“He appreciated the efforts we were taking, and realised that we were doing our best to protect the boys from virus dangers with all bio-secure guidelines,” de Silva explained.

Class act

Dravid had noticed the isolation and absence of ten players, including Krunal Pandya, who tested positive. That left Team India with eleven players for the remaining games. It is a paper-thin squad, but Dravid decided to back them for the rest of the games.

“We have 11 players available and we will play them. There is nothing to feel sorry about,” Dravid said.

“All the 11 are good enough to make the XI, and that’s why they were picked in the squad. I feel it is exciting to see them perform. Yes, the balance of the side will be a little fragile because we can only pick from the players available.”

Rightfully, then, de Silva appreciated the gesture, saying, “It was a very, very valuable tour for us. We were looking forward to it for a long time. We were very grateful to BCCI top brass – Jay Shah and Sourav Ganguly – for acceding to our request to play three additional T20Is.

“Originally the tour was for only three ODIs. It enhanced the commercial value of the whole tour. We ended up earning almost $ 14.5 million. It is a huge boost to our finances,” the SLC secretary concluded.

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