Sri Lanka curfew forces cricket team to improve fitness

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COLOMBO: Sri Lanka’s cricket team have been ordered onto customised home training regimes during the coronavirus lockdown by coach Mickey Arthur following frequent accusations of poor fitness. Arthur said the players have been given tailor-made programmes while they wait to see if key tournaments such as the Indian Premier League and Twenty20 World Cup will go ahead this year. “I have been sending out exercises to each player,” the South African coach said, adding that the strengths and weaknesses of each man were being discussed. A Sri Lankan sports minister slammed the team’s fitness after they suffered a humiliating one-day series defeat against bottom-ranked Zimbabwe in 2017 and early exit from the Champions Trophy.

Sri Lanka’s nationwide lockdown, which has now been extended to four weeks, started just as the national team were due to begin a two-match Test series against England at home. But the tourists pulled out on the second day of a four-day practice match in Colombo as the coronavirus pandemic intensified. The virus has claimed five lives and infected at least 176 people in Sri Lanka.

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