Sri Lanka blames fitness for Cricket World Cup flop

Sri Lankan cricketing authorities blamed a lack of fitness and the poor form of the side`s top order batsmen for failing to progress beyond the quarterfinals of the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.

AFP| Last Updated: Mar 27, 2015, 19:59 PM IST
Sri Lanka blames fitness for Cricket World Cup flop

Colombo: Sri Lankan cricketing authorities blamed a lack of fitness and the poor form of the side`s top order batsmen for failing to progress beyond the quarterfinals of the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.

Chief Selector Sanath Jayasuriya -- a member of Sri Lanka`s 1996 World Cup-winning team -- said officials will draw up new standards to ensure better fitness and take "hard decisions" about players who were below par.

"This (fitness) is an area we need to address and take hard decisions about players who don`t meet the new standards we will set," Jayasuriya said, in a post-mortem of Sri Lanka`s failure.

Injury-prone Sri Lanka was kicked out of the tournament after losing to South Africa by nine wickets in the quarterfinals on March 18.

Jayasuriya said five players -- Dinesh Chandimal, Dimuth Karunaratne, Dhammika Prasad, Jeevan Mendis and Rangana Herath -- had to be replaced during the tournament because of injuries.

Skipper Angelo Mathews, meanwhile, said he was disappointed with the top order batting that led to the defeat against South Africa.

"We did well in the first six matches, but then our top order batting failed," Mathews said.

Coach Marvan Atapattu said Sri Lanka was not considered favourites, but he nevertheless expected the team to make it to the semifinals.

"They have performed below my expectations," he said.

"I thought we could win a quarter final. From there on, we would have had a good chance."

Atapattu took over the team as its coach in September after Englishman Paul Farbrace abruptly quit months earlier to become deputy coach of England.