Sri Lanka Cricket’s Consultant Coach says poor fitness level of players led to World Cup defeat

Mahela Jayawardene

(Photo by Nisal Baduge / Daily Mirror)

A post World Cup media briefing attended by members of Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) was held at the Sri Lanka Cricket Head Office today (November 12).

The International Cricket Council (ICC) Board has suspended Sri Lanka Cricket’s membership of the ICC on Friday (November 10), citing political interference in the governance of Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC).

At the media briefing, Sri Lanka captain Kusal Mendis apologized to Sri Lankan cricket fans for the defeat of the Sri Lanka team at the ongoing 2023 ICC Cricket World Cup in India.

Furthermore, Captain Kusal Mendis asserted that the Sri Lanka team was not under any threats or external pressures to underperform during the 2023 ICC Cricket World Cup in India.

The team returned to Sri Lanka on Friday (November 10), having finished ninth out of ten teams in the Group Stage.

This is the first time that Sri Lanka did not qualify for the ICC Champions Trophy 2025 in Pakistan due to continued defeats in the 2023 ICC Cricket World Cup.

Speaking at the media briefing, Consultant Coach Mahela Jayawardene blamed the poor fitness levels of the players as a key reason for the team’s performances during the tournament.

Mahela Jayawardene further said, “For me the biggest thing is fitness. What I noticed over the course of a tournament like this, because of our fitness, the fatigue got into us, and the performance died down.”

“From the first game to the last game, we saw guys make a lot more mistakes. That happens with mental and physical fatigue and then the execution and the concentration lacks because of that.”

“Domestic cricket, the skillset, the standard needs to improve,”

“If we talk about the future, we need to play our domestic cricket on good wickets (similar to those in other countries) so that when the team plays overseas there is less adjustment required.” Jayawardene emphasized.

Meanwhile, Sri Lanka’s 1996 World Cup winning captain Arjuna Ranatunga has alleged that Secretary of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) Jay Shah was responsible for the issues plaguing Sri Lankan cricket.

In an interview posted on YouTube, Ranatunga alleged the close connection with officials of Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) had created a situation where submissive to the BCCI.

“Because of the connection between SLC officials and Jay Shah they (the BCCI) are under the impression that they can trample and control SLC,” Ranatunga claimed.

“Jay Shah is running Sri Lanka Cricket. SLC is being ruined because of pressure from Jay Shah. One man in India is ruining Sri Lankan cricket,” Ranatunga said.