Colombo, (AFP): The Sri Lankan government has ordered a probe into the national cricket team’s “crisis situation” after they fell to another defeat in their one-day series in South Africa, an official said on Wednesday.
Sports Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage asked the country’s cricket governing body to investigate and recommend remedial action to end the side’s recent poor performances, his spokesman Harsha Abeykoon said.
South Africa defeated Sri Lanka by four runs on Tuesday to take a winning 3-0 lead in their five-match ODI series.
“Carefully investigate the current crisis situation in the national cricket team and report back to me within a week,” Aluthgamage told the chairman of Sri Lanka Cricket.
The probe was ordered a week after another minister slammed the side, blaming lack of team spirit for a 258-run thrashing by South Africa, the island’s worst one-day international defeat.
The Sri Lankan government is often accused of meddling in the sport and recent uncontested elections for the cricket board were mired in allegations of interference. Sri Lanka did reach the final of last year’s World Cup but since the retirement of bowling star Muttiah Muralitharan in July 2010, the team have won only one Test match.
Skipper Tillakaratne Dilshan has blamed his side’s inconsistent results on the island’s weak domestic scene. Some players have complained about months of unpaid wages as the cricket board struggles with debts of $69 million after building two new venues and revamping a third ground for the World Cup.