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Coach Silverwood rues 'inconsistent' Sri Lanka at World Cup

By AFP

November 9, 2023 09:19 PM


 

Sri Lanka on Thursday suffered their seventh World Cup loss in nine matches after going down to New Zealand at the end of a disappointing campaign described as "inconsistent" by coach Chris Silverwood.

The former champions entered the tournament through a qualifying event alongside the Netherlands and showed sparks of brilliance including an eight-wicket win over defending champions England.

But Thursday's five-wicket defeat in Bengaluru kept them in ninth place in the 10-team table.

"I think inconsistency. I think it would be fair to use that word," Silverwood told reporters.

"There has been certain games during this campaign that if we'd have taken the opportunities that were put our way, this could have looked a lot different."

Sri Lanka, who were champions in 1996, had to change captains in the middle of the tournament when Dasun Shanaka pulled out injured and Kusal Mendis took charge.

A crisis back home didn't help matters when the country's cricket board (SLC) was sacked on Monday only for the Court of Appeal to restore it the following day.

Sri Lanka's parliament then unanimously demanded SLC to resign after accusing it of unprecedented corruption involving millions of dollars.

Silverwood though stayed clear of blaming politics for his team's downfall.

"Well this campaign has been disappointing for us, but if we look at previous campaigns before that I've been involved in certainly the win percentage has gone up," the Englishman said.

"When it comes to what's happening back home at the moment, being an outsider, the politics of Sri Lanka is not really my business, so I will respectfully decline to go into those areas."

After win over the Dutch and England, the Mendis-led team lost to Asian neighbours Afghanistan, India and Bangladesh to sink to the bottom half and a 2025 Champions trophy qualification all but gone.

The top seven teams from this World Cup will gain entry into the 2025 tournament along with hosts Pakistan.

"I said earlier, we will have a good debrief, dissect what's happened and have a look at what we can learn and what we can take into the next phase," said Silverwood.

"The next chapter leading into the next World Cup and how do we put things right that we got wrong this time."


AFP


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