Sri Lanka to set up crisis panel to arrest cricket slide

The four-member panel will convene a seminar within the next fortnight to look into the poor performance, according to the country’s sports minister.

Sri Lanka has lost every international fixture against India in the latter’s ongoing tour.   -  AP

The Sri Lankan government will set up a four-member panel to probe the sharp cricket slide suffered by the national team. The country’s sports minister Dayasiri Jayasekera announced on Wednesday the panel will convene a seminar within the next fortnight to look into the poor performances.

Sri Lanka has been going through a lean run since 2014, with the retirement of Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene and Tillakaratne Dilshan. It lost its No. 1 ranking in Twenty20s alongside a free-fall in the other formats.

The panel would involve former players, captains, former selectors, coaches, international experts, provincial cricket organisations and the media. It will look to identify the ‘problem areas,’ Jayasekera told reporters.

Since 2014, Sri Lanka lost a home series twice to India, including the recent 3-0 Test whitewash in addition to defeats against Pakistan, Zimbabwe in the One-Day Internationals and the first-ever Test loss to Bangladesh.

Most recently, a section of the crowd unleashed its anger on the players after the team’s nine-wicket thrashing by India in the first ODI, chanting ‘no to politics, give us our cricket back.’ The Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) management has come under fire for interference in team selections.