New Delhi: Sri Lankan cricket is going from bad to worse with each passing day. If losing to Zimbabwe in the ODI series wasn’t insult enough, it has now come to the fore that the some officials of the cricket board had asked ground staff to strip off before getting paid.
According to Sri Lanka’s Sunday Times website, the groundstaff were asked to return the uniforms which had the SLC logo before getting paid. This was after the fifth ODI between Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe in Hambantota on Monday.
The Sri Lankan cricket board has apologised and regretted the incident and also promised stern action against those involved in the episode.
“Whilst stern action will be taken against those responsible, Sri Lanka Cricket wishes to apologise to those subjected to this ignominy, and will take steps to ensure they are compensated," it said.
Social media was filled with images of temporary ground staff walking off in their underwear. The affected staff were local people contracted on a daily wage of 1,000 rupees ($6.50; £5) to carry out duties at the Mahinda Rajapaksa International Stadium.
This after skipper Angelo Mathews confirmed that he is reconsidering his role as Sri Lanka captain after the one-day series loss to Zimbabwe which he considers one of the lowest points in his career.
Sikandar Raza’s stellar all-round display guided Zimbabwe to their first one-day international series win over hosts Sri Lanka with a nervous three-wicket victory in the fifth and final match at Hambantota on Monday.
Zimbabwe, ranked 11th, had never beaten Sri Lanka before this series and their triumph is all the more special after they lost to Scotland last month and were beaten by Afghanistan earlier this year.
“It’s one of the lowest points in my career, and a hard one to swallow," Mathews said after the 3-2 series defeat. “Everything went against us, from the toss to misreading the wicket. But there are no excuses. At the end of the day we were not good enough to beat them. They played better cricket."
Sri Lanka’s form in the 50-over format has been dismal since the 2015 World Cup and they have suffered series defeats against England, South Africa and Australia before they drew against Bangladesh at home. They also exited this year’s Champions Trophy in the group stage.
“Still haven’t thought about stepping down," Mathews said. “There’s time. I’ll give it a bit more thought and talk to the selectors. I haven’t decided anything yet. “We have not been consistent. The pressure is on all of us. The more we lose, the more pressure we are under. There is no solution for that and the only solution is winning. We try to win games, but we commit too many mistakes."