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SL sports minister asks team to shape up

AFP
Dec 06, 2011 at 10:16pm IST

Colombo: Sri Lanka's sports minister has told the nation's cricket team to start talking to each other to help end their losing streak, saying a lack of communication was the main problem in the squad.

Sports Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage met the players, selectors and administrators on Tuesday to find a solution ahead of next month's Test and one-day tour of South Africa.

"It was revealed that the main reason why the national cricket team had failed to perform was due to miscommunication between the team, the selectors and the coaches," the ministry said in a statement. "It was discussed in detail the importance and the necessity for captain Tillakaratne Dilshan to maintain sound communications with the selection committee and coach (Geoff Marsh)."

SL sports minister asks team to shape up

Sri Lanka's sports minister has told the team to start talking to each other to help end their losing streak.

The players were allowed to "openly and freely" discuss matters with the minister, the statement added.

Interim committees appointed by the government have run cricket in Sri Lanka for the last seven years, prompting accusations that politicians were interfering in the sport. Aluthgamage two weeks ago dissolved Sri Lanka Cricket's interim managing committee to clear the way for the national board committee to be elected for the first time in seven years, in line with International Cricket Council rules.

Sri Lanka have failed to win Test and one-day series in their last three encounters in England, at home against Australia and in the United Arab Emirates against Pakistan. Their worst performance came against Pakistan earlier this month when they lost the Test series 1-0 and the one-dayers 4-1, before being thrashed by five wickets in the lone Twenty20 international.

Local media has speculated about tensions in the team after Sri Lanka lost the World Cup final to India in April that led to the resignations of skipper Kumar Sangakkara and his deputy Mahela Jayawardene.

Marsh, a former Australian opening batsman, took over as coach ahead of the Pakistan series.

Sri Lanka open the six-week tour of South Africa with a practice match in Benoni from December 9 to 11. The back-to-back Tests will be played at Centurion (December 15-19), Durban (December 26-30) and Cape Town (January 3-7), before the rivals face-off in a five-match one-day series.

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