Colombo - Sri Lanka is launching an investigation into the
woeful state of cricket on the island, the sports minister said on Thursday,
amid a string of humiliating losses and calls for an administrative overhaul.
Dayasiri Jayasekera said he was inviting former
administrators, players, sports experts and journalists to brainstorm ideas
about how to revive the game, beloved in Sri Lanka.
"I am hoping to get all these experts at a single forum
and thrash out issues," Jayasekera said.
"There is no point in blaming administrators or the
players without an in-depth study. The idea is not to apportion blame, but
address the deficiencies and rally behind the national team."
He has rejected a suggested clear-out of the cricket board,
an idea pushed aggressively by former World Cup winning skipper Arjuna
Ranatunga following this month's 3-0 Test whitewash against India on home soil.
That compounded the misery for the national side after they
suffered a humiliating ODI home series defeat against bottom-ranked Zimbabwe
and bowed out early from the Champions Trophy in England.
"I don't want to interfere in the administration,"
Jayasekera said. "That might lead to isolation by the ICC (International
For years Sri Lanka's cricket was governed by
state-appointed boards, before a switch in 2016 to democratically-elected
Ranatunga, who wanted a key role in the administration, was
defeated at those elections.
The ICC had briefly suspended Sri Lanka's voting rights
before the 2016 reforms.
Jayasekera said player fitness was also an issue that
contributed to Sri Lanka's poor showing of late. The sports minister had
already caused a stir by labelling the squad too fat and unfit to field
It is hoped the proposed forum, which has asked interested
parties to submit written submissions about how to improve the game, will be
held within a fortnight.