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Jan 19, 2012 at 12:25pm IST

Sri Lanka cricket heading for overhaul

Colombo: Sri Lanka is to undertake a major overhaul of its national cricket team and coaching staff ahead of the country's tour of Australia later this month, a media report said on Thursday.

Skipper Tillakaratne Dilshan is tipped to be replaced by former captain Mahela Jayawardene while Australian coach Geoff Marsh is also likely to be asked to go, the local Daily Mirror said. It said the national cricket board would also sack the team of selectors after Sri Lanka's abysmal performance in South Africa where they lost both the Test and one-day international series.

The Mirror said Marsh was likely to be replaced by South African Graham Ford. Sri Lanka Cricket officials said they were unaware of the moves allegedly initiated in the ministry of sports.

Sri Lanka cricket heading for overhaul

Mahela Jayawardene is tipped to replace Tillakaratne Dilshan as skipper, the Daily Mirror reported.

The report came two days after the government 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. 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.

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 has won only one Test match.

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