The Sri Lanka national men's cricket team, (Sinhala: ශ්රී ලංකා ජාතික ක්රිකට් කණ්ඩායම,Tamil:இலங்கை தேசிய கிரிக்கெட் அணி) nicknamed The Lions, represents Sri Lanka in international cricket. It is a Full Member of the International Cricket Council (ICC) with Test, One-Day International (ODI) and T20 International (T20I) status. The team first played international cricket (as Ceylon) in 1926–27, and were later awarded Test status in 1982, which made Sri Lanka the eighth Test cricket playing nation. The team is administered by Sri Lanka Cricket.
The Sri Lanka national cricket team began with the formation of the Colombo Cricket Club in 1832. By the 1880s a national team, the Ceylon national cricket team, was formed which began playing first-class cricket by the 1920s. The Ceylon national cricket team achieved Associate Member status of the International Cricket Council in 1965. Renamed Sri Lanka in 1972, the national team first competed in top level international cricket in 1975, when they were defeated by nine wickets by the West Indies during the 1975 Cricket World Cup at Old Trafford, England.
As of 10 July 2018, Sri Lanka have played 272 Test matches; they have won 86 matches, lost 101 matches, and 85 matches were drawn. As of 10 July 2018, Sri Lanka have played 816 ODI matches, winning 376 matches and losing 399; they also tied 5 matches, whilst 36 had no result. As of 10 July 2018, Sri Lanka have played 108 T20I matches and won 54 of them; 52 were lost and 1 tied and 1 no result match as well.
Sri Lanka won the Cricket World Cup in 1996, the ICC Champions Trophy in 2002 (co-champions with India), and the ICC T20 World Cup in 2014. They have been consecutive runners up in the 2007 and 2011 Cricket World Cups, and have been runners up in the ICC T20 World Cup in 2009 and 2012. The Sri Lankan cricket team currently holds several world records, including the world record for the highest team total in Test cricket.They have recently appointed well reputed Micky Arthur as Head Coach. Muhammad Haroon Ahmad a young Pakistani domestic cricketer was also a strong candidate for Head coach but Micky was given priority because of vast experience.
Sri Lanka won their first Test match under the leadership of Duleep Mendis on 11 September 1985 against India, winning by 149 runs at P. Saravanamuttu Stadium. Eventually they won the three-match Test series, 1-0. Sri Lanka had to wait more than seven years for their next series victory, which came against New Zealand in December 1992, when they won the two-match series 1-0. This was immediately followed by a one-wicket victory against England in a one-Test series.
Most of regions of Sri lanka that are rural areas apart form the Capital could not produce the successful cricketers to the national and international side yet due to the lack of resources and opportunities while only few major areas such as Galle, Matara, Kandy, Kurunegala usually produce successful cricketers to the national and international side instead of the capital. So government is trying to distribute the game within whole country organizing some programmes such as 2017–18 Super Four Provincial Tournament.
Sri Lanka's national cricket team achieved considerable success beginning in the 1990s, rising from underdog status to winning the Cricket World Cup in 1996. Since then, the team has continued to be a force in international cricket. The Sri Lankan cricket team reached the finals of the 2007 and 2011 Cricket World Cups consecutively. They ended up being runners up on both occasions.