Sri Lanka have been a force in world cricket for the last 20 years and have been dominant on home soil in all formats. Things haven’t been going well Sri Lankan cricket during the last 12 months and it all fell apart during the recent series against India and exposed how far Sri Lankan cricket has declined.
Sri Lanka Suffer 9-0 Whitewash At Home
India are a strong team but Sri Lanka was expected to do well since they were playing at home. It wasn’t the case as the Indians won the three match test series 3-0, then went on to sweep the 5 match ODI series 5-0 and finished with a win in the one-off T20 match to complete a 9-0 whitewash in all formats and leave Sri Lankan cricket in tatters.
Sri Lankan coach Graham Ford resigned in June 2017 prematurely and the responsibility was then thrust on Nic Pothas who was serving as the side’s fielding coach. Pothas had stated during the ODIs that there was too much interference from the selectors and it was unsettling the team. Sri Lanka has never faced a whitewash across all formats at home and this performance has hurt the players, the selectors and the fans.
The Sri Lankan selectors led by former cricket Sanath Jayasuriya have sent in their resignations citing the poor performance of the team as the reason for their resignation. Prior to the India series, their captain Angelo Matthews resigned from all formats and the Sri Lankan Cricket board was forced to find new captains who were also unable to change the fortunes of the team.
Where Does Sri Lankan Cricket Go From Here?
Sri Lanka have undoubtedly reached rock bottom as it cannot get more embarrassing than losing 9-0 at home and having your own fans throw bottles at you on the field and prevent the team bus from moving to express their disappointment and anger.
Whoever becomes the full time head coach will have to work on the fitness of the players and be more strict as the likes of Angelo Matthews, S Prasanna, L Malinga and R Herath are carrying weight and are a burden in the field as well as a poor example in terms of fitness to the younger players in the squad.
Sri Lanka has to re-build and focus on putting together a good support staff and backing young blood. The Sri Lankan Cricket Board (SCB) has to identify a group of players and give them enough opportunities to gain experience and prepare for the 2019 World Cup which takes place in England and Wales.