Thilan Samaraweera to assist Black Caps in SL

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Former Sri Lankan batsman Thilan Samaraweera will join the Black Caps coaching staff for the upcoming Test series in Sri Lanka.

Boasting an impressive playing record, Samaraweera scored 14 Test centuries in his 81-match career (two of which were made against New Zealand on the tour of Sri Lanka in 2009), ending with an average of 48.76 and a top score of 231 against Pakistan in Karachi.

Since retiring from international cricket in 2013, the 42-year-old has coached extensively around the world, including stints as the batting coach of Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, along with his role as fielding coach of the Kolkata Knight Riders in the 2018 IPL.

Black Caps coach Gary Stead said Samaraweera would bring great experience and skills to the group.

“We’re delighted to welcome Thilan into our environment for the Test phase of the tour,” he said.

“His knowledge of Sri Lankan conditions will be invaluable and he’ll offer great assistance to Peter Fulton on his first tour.

“Having an extra support coach worked really well for us at the World Cup where we had Luke Ronchi on board, and we’re sure Thilan will also offer a lot to the group.”

Samaraweera links up with the Test squad on arrival in Colombo this weekend.

The Black Caps play Sri Lanka in two Tests to begin their World Test Championship campaign.