Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) on Thursday denied allegations of players ‘deliberately underperforming’ in the recently-concluded T20I series against South Africa. Certain media reports in the country claimed that some of the players in the team did not fully commit themselves on the field in a comprehensive 3-0 series loss to South Africa.
“Sri Lanka Cricket has not received such a complaint from the ‘Team Management’ against any player of the National squad. Sri Lanka Cricket wishes to inform you that it was the same group of players who played in the ODI series which Sri Lanka won against South Africa,” read an official statement from the SLC.
“Sri Lanka not only won the ODI series vs South Africa 2-1 but also gained crucial points and climbed up in the rankings of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Super League. It is understood and acknowledged by the fans that the Sri Lanka National Team, since the recent past is, progressing forward by winning important contests and heading in the right direction,” added the statement.
The SLC has also requested news organisations in the country to follow ethical journalism ahead of next month’s men’s T20 World Cup starting on October 17 in Oman and the UAE.
“Therefore, Sri Lanka Cricket wishes to request from the respective news organizations, which published the false and fabricated news item to follow ethical journalism practices, as such, false reporting will destabilize and scuttle the National Team’s preparations ahead of the crucial ICC Men’s T20 World Cup.”
“Such false reporting will also mentally affect the players, who are showing commitment and desire to count their presence in the team, as witnessed in the recent competitions, Sri Lanka played,” concluded the statement.
Sri Lanka, the 2014 champions, are placed in Group A of the first round of the mega event. They are scheduled to take on their Group A opponents Namibia in their first match of the T20 World Cup in on October 18 followed by Ireland on October 20 in Abu Dhabi and the Netherlands on October 22 in Sharjah.