Colombo - Sri Lanka's demoralised cricket
team faces an investigation into alleged "scandalous behaviour"
during its dismal tour of New Zealand, including drinking parties and
squabbling, the sports minister said on Tuesday.
Dayasiri Jayasekera said he had been handed
photos of national players attending all-night parties just before crucial
matches against hosts New Zealand, who achieved a virtual clean sweep in the
"There was scandalous behaviour,"
the minister said. "They have not only attended drinking parties till
three and four in the morning, but there was a lot of tension and friction
Sri Lanka went to New Zealand as defending
champions of the shortest form of the game, but slipped to third position this
month behind the West Indies and Australia after their resounding defeat in the
Sri Lanka also lost the Tests 0-2 and the
one-day series 1-3 to the hosts.
"When they return, I want to call the
team and along with Thilanga (Sumathipala, new Sri Lanka Cricket president) try
to find out what happened," the minister said.
"My main concern is the breakdown in
discipline. When that is affected, the team naturally performs badly," he
said of reported squabbling between players, including the captain, and the
The minister said Sri Lanka would also
focus on finding a long-term coach after Marvan Atapattu quit weeks before his
contract was due to expire in September last year.
Sri Lanka appointed Jerome Jayaratne as
interim coach, initially for the home series against the West Indies and then
for the New Zealand tour.
Jayaratne, 49, had been head of coaching at
Sri Lanka Cricket but his elevation to oversee the national team was seen as a
Atapattu was the seventh Sri Lanka head
coach in the past five years.
The 45-year-old took over the team in
September 2014 after Englishman Paul Farbrace abruptly quit months earlier to
become England's deputy coach.
Since 2010, Trevor Bayliss, Stuart Law,
Rumesh Ratnayake, Geoff Marsh and Graham Ford have also held stints as Sri
Jayaratne, a former Under 19 international,
had headed the coaching department for seven years.