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Angelo Mathews

Lasith Malinga humbly said that being a 33-year-old player at present, he could not show the skills that he had shown when younger. “My only hope is to bowl and get wickets. It is towards achieving this end that I exert myself even now,” Malinga said.

“As a team we played well. Sometimes due to over enthusiasm, mistakes can occur. Everyone talks only when catches are dropped. No matter how many things the coaches teach, it is what we do in the middle of the ground that is far more important. Today, if we take wickets and show our skills, no one talks about the coach. When I take five wickets, there is no mention of Coach Champaka. This is how cricket is. There is much talk only when catches are dropped. This is what has happened today,” Malinga said.

“At present, I am only looking at playing in a match if I get a match in the time to come. I don’t know what my future will be like. That will be decided by the head of the selection committee and the cricketing officials.”

Asanka Gurusinghe
Asanka Gurusinghe

“In actuality, it was only after 19 months that I played a one day match. However, because I couldn’t perform well enough to do something that would have allowed us to win the match as I did back then, there is nothing much to be happy about,” Malinga said.
However, Malinga said that he was happy about the performance of his fellow bowling colleagues, Nuwan Pradeep, Suranga Lakmal and Thisara Perera.

It was reported that the manager of the tour and member of the selection committee, Asanka Gurusinghe, did not play Lakshan Sandaken in these matches because his service would not have yielded expected results due to the nature of the pitches on which the matches were played. Even India left out Ravichandran Ashwin for two matches. Only South Africa’s Imran Thaheer showed some skills. Therefore decisions were taken based on the suitability for the particular match.

Regarding Dhananjaya De Silva’s sudden inclusion, Gurusinghe said that because Asela Gunaratne was suffering from a shoulder injury prior to the match against Pakistan, Sri Lanka was struggling with the dire urgent need for a batsman. “This is why it was decided to call Dhananjaya. It was only on the morning of the day of the match that Asela was fit enough to play the match. Unfortunately, Dhananjaya faced a good ball. If he got any runs, nobody would criticize him,” Gurusinghe said.

Captain Angelo Matthews said that he had not given any thought to retiring from the game in the future. “In reality, we have to accept the responsibility for the defeat in the match against Pakistan. We know that the entire country is disappointed. We too are disappointed about this. Yet, there is no point in pointing a finger at a player or two,” Matthews said.

President of Sri Lanka Cricket, Thilanga Sumathipala said that there was no point in blaming the coaches for weaknesses in fielding. “The situation during the halfway point of a match differs from match to match. Overall, fielding was at a good level. It was only during the Pakistan match that this changed. It is wrong to blame the coaches,” the President of Sri Lanka Cricket said, explaining that it was the media’s responsibility to present in a fair light the allegations against the defeated team and its players.

Lasith Malinga
Lasith Malinga