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Sri Lanka chief selector alleges ‘outside conspiracy’ over dismal 2023 WC | Cricket

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Sri Lanka chief selector alleges ‘outside conspiracy’ over dismal 2023 WC | Cricket


Sri Lanka’s dismal campaign at the 2023 World Cup ended on Thursday with a five-wicket loss to New Zealand in Bengaluru. The Lankans faced seven losses in nine matches at the tournament, leaving their fate for the Champions Trophy in 2025 hanging in balance. Sri Lanka are currently ninth in the World Cup table and their final position will be determined on Sunday, when the last group game takes place between India and Netherlands.

Sri Lanka’s Angelo Mathews and teammates celebrate the wicket of New Zealand's Mark Chapman (ANI)
Sri Lanka’s Angelo Mathews and teammates celebrate the wicket of New Zealand’s Mark Chapman (ANI)

While Sri Lanka have a chance to move up to eighth position if Pakistan defeat England by a big margin, they will slip to the last spot if the Dutch clinch an unlikely win over the high-flying Indian team.

The Sri Lankan cricket team returned home early Friday morning from India, and controversy is already brewing up as the side endured one of its worst campaigns in the tournament’s history. Pressed for reasons for the poor performance, Pramodaya Wickramasingha, the chief selector of the men’s team, made a rather explosive claim.

A member of the World Cup-winning 1996 team, Wickramasingha alleged that it was an “outside conspiracy” that derailed Sri Lanka’s campaign in the 2023 edition. “Give me two days to disclose everything about it. This was the result of a conspiracy from outside,” Wickramasingha said, as quoted by PTI.

“It is very sad, I am taking responsibility,” he further told reporters at the airport.

The former champions faced a host of injuries to some of their key players, prompting the inclusion of players not initially in the squad. This situation even forced a change in captaincy midway through the tournament. Their dismal performance against India, where they were dismissed for a mere 56 runs, resulted in a severe backlash back home.

Subsequently, the sports minister dismissed the governing body, Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC). However, the court of appeal later reinstated it, exacerbating the crisis. On Thursday, a joint resolution in parliament, involving both the government and opposition, called for the resignation of the SLC’s management.

The government, which is split over the minister’s decision to sack the SLC board of management, came out with a report, recommending a brand new constitution for the governing body with a new voting structure to appoint office bearers.

(With inputs from PTI)

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