News24

SL skipper denies infighting

2012-01-26 16:26

Colombo - New Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene rejected the sports minister's allegation that politics and infighting within the playing squad has caused the team's recent slump.

Jayawardene said that the team has collectively made mistakes but disunity was not the reason for recent Test series losses to England, Australia, Pakistan and South Africa.

"As a team we have no politics or infighting. We did not play well, I admit that," Jayawardene said. "We can't point fingers at a single individual for the shortcomings."

Tillakaratne Dilshan resigned as captain after losing all four series during a difficult transitional period for Sri Lanka since the 2011 World Cup, following the retirement of stalwarts like leading Test wicket-taker Muttiah Muralitharan.

Sri lanka, however, managed to record their first Test match win in South Africa last month under Dilshan's captaincy.

But Sports Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage said in a speech in Parliament that senior players had acknowledged a communication gap with the others and there has been questions over the level of support given to the captain.

Aluthgamage has also alleged the head coach and his assistants don't work together.

Sri Lanka authorities have initiated a major shake-up following the defeats, replacing the selection committee, captain and coach.

Jayawardene was reappointed captain after only leaving the position in 2009, and he said he has taken over on the understanding that he will hold the position for one year until a younger player is ready.

Former Australian opening batsman Geoff Marsh was fired after only completing three months of a two-year contract, replaced by South African Graham Ford.

AP