Sri Lankan players have been told to ignore social media trolls and jokes over their current slump in form that has stretched to the islanders losing the first two Tests in the three match series against India. The trolling and jokes have come from all across the board including a government minister poking fun.
Former Sri Lanka batsman, legend and now team mentor Arvinda de Silva has told players that they shouldn’t be disheartened ahead of the third Test in Pallekele starting Saturday. India won the opening Test in Galle by 304 runs and the second in Colombo by an innings and 53 runs.
Sri Lanka were coming into the Test series having just about beaten Zimbabwe in the one-off Test and losing the ODI series. It was Zimbabwe’s first away series win in eight years. Before that, Sri Lanka crashed out in the group stages of the ICC Champions Trophy.
As per a statement, the young players have been advised to “not to be discouraged by extraneous elements that seek to demoralise them via social media and gossip sites”, said former captain de Silva.
Sri Lanka minister Harsha de Silva tweeted a picture of himself with India skipper Virat Kohli saying: “Told Virat Kohli #India Cricket to go easy on #SriLanka next Test. 600 a bit too steep.”
One post joked Sri Lanka won the second Test because they had two innings to India’s one. While another said the hosts threw the match away because they didn’t want to play on the fifth day, which was a Buddhist holiday.
“Sri Lanka are currently facing what is perceived to be a ‘slump’ in their performance and ranking,” the board said. The board is trying to rectify “a series of administrative and strategic missteps over the past several years”, it added. Chief selector and former captain Sanath Jayasuriya pleaded for more time to deliver results and urged “everyone to stay focused and remain positive with the 2019 World Cup as their singular goal”.