Monkey business Malinga to lead crippled Sri Lanka
ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lankan fast bowler Lasith Malinga who is facing a suspended ban for comparing the country’s sports minister to a monkey has been asked to lead a crippled team against India at the next one-day international.
Malinga, who was two months ago slapped a fine of 50 percent of his match fee and given a six-month ban suspended for a year, was asked to replace Chamara Kapugedara who was ruled out of the rest of the Indian tour because of injury.
Kapugedara had replaced Upul Tharanga who received a two-match ban for a slow run rate in 2nd ODI which Sri Lanka lost to India at Pallekele.
Meanwhile, Sri Lanka’s cricket selectors led by Sanath Jayasuriya resigned en masse, days after fans hurled abuse and empty water bottles at the beleaguered national side as they suffered another humiliating thrashing on home soil.
The five selectors handed a joint letter of resignation to Sports Minister Dayasiri Jayasekera, a ministry official said.
The announcement comes midway through India’s five-match one-day international tour in Sri Lanka, a series the hosts conceded Sunday with a third straight loss.
Fans, tired of thumping losses, leadership changes and mismanagement, booed the home side and lobbed bottles as they approached inevitable defeat at Pallekele.
Play was held up for 32 minutes, after which India recorded a six-wicket win.
The ODI series loss came hard on the heels of India’s three-Test series whitewash over Sri Lanka on home soil.
Selectors have borne a fair share of recent criticism, with Sri Lanka’s World Cup-winning skipper Arjuna Ranatunga accusing the panel of lacking "backbone".
The latest losses only compounded the misery for the national side, which suffered a humiliating ODI home series defeat against bottom-ranked Zimbabwe and bowed out early from the Champions Trophy in England.
They have also been beset by injury, with batsman Dinesh Chandimal ruled out of the remaining ODIs with a thumb injury and Chamara Kapugedara also likely to miss the matches.
Sri Lanka will play the remaining two ODI matches against India this Thursday and Sunday, and a one-off Twenty20 match against the visitors on September 6. (COLOMBO, August 29, 2017)
Economic Intelligence Unit of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce
Jehan Perera - Executive Director National Peace Council