The home series defeat to Zimbabwe and India has left us all in some distress, especially due to the uncertainty in affirming direct qualification for the ICC World Cup in England and Wales. We are now left with hope and it’s important to remain optimistic as despair can only lead to another wreck.
For an instance, the unpleasant bottle-flinging incident at the Pallekale International Stadium distinctly defined the importance of not letting frustration take over, especially in the eyes of the world. Displeased fans caused a 35-minute disruption, prompting the intervention of riot police.
Back in 1996, when a similar incident broke out, Sri Lanka was at the receiving end at Eden Gardens, Kolkata.
“Such incidents should not be repeated. Sri Lankans love cricket and they feel sad when we lose a match. We have made lots of sacrifices for cricket and those sacrifices had been made while losing lots of things. Every cricketer in our team is mentally depressed,” said former skipper Arjuna Ranatunga.
Can Sri Lanka still acquire automatic qualification?
As the situation remains uncertain, Sri Lanka will now have to depend on the outcome of the West Indies series against Ireland and England later this month. However, the equation is simple. West Indies ranked ninth in the ICC ODI rankings will have to win at least five out of the six games against Ireland and England. If they fail to do so, Sri Lanka will acquire automatic qualification.
At first thought, it might appear affirmative for Sri Lanka. But, the Caribbean side has just pulled off a remarkable win over England in the 2nd Test, exposing their unwillingness to give up. Besides, the tables have turned and Sri Lanka can only sit back and watch for the moment. Or, they can choose to take whatever comes their way with a strong mindset.
Injuries and inconsistency
The prevailing injury situation is the side’s biggest area of concern ahead of the all-important tour to the UAE later this month. The surprisingly long list of injured players include big names such as Kusal Janith Perera, Asela Gunaratne, and Nuwan Pradeep. For Sri Lanka to rise above hate, it’s important to identify the right balance and this can only be done with a positive attitude.
“It has been a real struggle because Sri Lanka has just not been able to get on a roll or been able to identify a team. It has been tough, and lots of injuries have contributed to this. On the other hand poor form of senior players has been a contributor as well and when injuries are put together, the transition has just not been able to move forward. If you look at this Indian series, we have had two captains in the Tests and three so far in the ODIs. We had another one in the Champions Trophy, so that’s how problematic it has been,” said international commentator Russel Arnold. (Press Trust of India).
With the world cup in the horizon, the board has very little time to get the injured players back on their feet. It’s important, they take series by series instead of diverting their concentration to the bigger picture. If all goes well, the Islanders will have a solid squad before the world cup in 2019.
“The guys have to approach that schedule with a positive attitude. As I have said many times, I really believe we have the talent. The domestic structure is not helping that talent prepare for international cricket but we can still be much better than we are,” said Mahela Jayawardena in one of his articles (gulfnews).
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