Colombo - Sri
Lanka fast bowler Lasith Malinga faced an investigation on Thursday after
he compared a government minister to a monkey following criticism that
the country's cricketers were too fat.
Sports minister Dayasiri Jayasekera said he ordered an inquiry after
Malinga lambasted him for questioning the endurance of Sri Lankan
players following their failure to reach the Champions Trophy
"He is now under investigation for making statements to the media in
breach of his contract with Sri Lanka Cricket (board)," Jayasekera told
"In my criticism of the appalling fitness levels of our players, I
did not name Malinga, but he has chosen to put the hat on and attack me
Malinga told a television network the minister knew nothing about cricket.
"I don't care about criticism from those who are simply warming
chairs," he said. "What does a monkey know about a parrot's nesting
hollow? This is like a monkey getting into a parrot's nest and talking
Jayasekera said some Sri Lankan players had pot bellies that stopped them moving and that often they could not hold catches.
Pakistan skipper Sarfraz Ahmed was twice dropped in his side's
Champions Trophy win over Sri Lanka. Both catches were off the bowling
of Malinga, who ended up with just one wicket for 52 runs.
Jayasekera said he ordered a fitness test on the team after their
return from England last week and found that most of them carry too much
"The typical body fat amounts for a cricketer should be about 16
percent, but most of our players have over 25 percent," Jayasekera said.
"I want the results analysed and in future no one will be included in a national squad if they are above 16 percent."
Malinga, 33, was a surprise choice for the Sri Lanka squad as he has
played little international cricket in the previous 18 months because of
Just prior to the Champions Trophy, however, Malinga won the
cash-rich Indian Premier League (IPL) title with the Mumbai Indians.
Malinga was the only player excused from Sri Lanka's high altitude
training camp before the Champions Trophy, because of the IPL campaign.
"They improve their fitness level just to bowl four overs at the
IPL," Jayasekera said, referring to Malinga. "These guys are not
interested in playing for the country, they play for the IPL because of
the money they get."
Jayasekera said he was also making fitness a key requirement for
other sports before an athlete can participate in overseas tournaments.