England will look to become champions of the world for the first time in their history when the Cricket World Cup kicks off on May 30 in London.
Sri Lanka’s current form suggests that they are in the worst place since gaining Test status in 1982, and sporadic bursts like the unlikely series win over Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates throws a shadow over the actual happenings in the island nation.
To even suggest that they are capable of beating anyone in the top ten at the moment is laughable, as the current series against the world’s top team, India, is proving in no uncertain terms.
All the excuses thrown around about departing stars are now wearing thin as the team struggles to find genuine talent with consistency while they offer themselves as cannon fodder to everyone they come up against.
Over the past two years Sri Lanka have managed only three Test series wins – over Australia, Zimbabwe and Pakistan – with lengthy spells between those successes.
They have been hammered into submission in the one-day format by almost everyone, which is a sad indictment on a team previously known for their expertise in the shorter version of the game.
As they lurch from one series defeat to the other, the coaching department appears to be adrift, opting to point fingers in the direction of the players by stating the obvious instead of finding and providing them with the right direction.
A complete revamp of the coaching department appears to be the only solution at present, and a search for a competent coach is as obvious as day turning to night.
Right now the cards appear to be falling nicely into place if they were adventurous enough to pursue former Bangladesh coach Chandika Hathurusinghe, a former assistant with the Sri Lankan team before he was dumped without valid reason.
It now depends on whether Hathurusinghe is interested in coaching his former country – and whether the wounds of the past have healed. He is an absolute goer in world cricket, proving his ability for New South Wales in Australia before taking the Bangladeshis from minnows to a feared force in world cricket at the moment.
Hathurusinghe gave up his coaching role in Bangladesh after a falling out with some of the players, who are reported to have begun rebelling against him.
Remedial action and a solid structure are most important at the moment as sniping and fractured relationships within the Sri Lanka cricket administration threaten to rip the heart out of a game in which they were once a feared force by the rest of the world.
As the other nations keep shunting ahead in proven progress, Sri Lanka are in a downward spiral that needs to be arrested if fans around the world are to show any interest in turning up to watch them play. They were crowd pullers in Australia and many other parts of the world before, but right now, with their poor form and inconsistency, fans will be thinking twice before committing to spend a day watching them play.