Sri Lanka fails to attend post match press conference, ICC to impose sanction

Written by N Krishnamurthy

The International Cricket Council (ICC) are likely to impose a sanction on Sri Lanka after they refused to send a player or coaching staff member to the post-match press conference after their 87-run defeat at The Oval on Saturday.

Attending post match press conference by every participating team (either a player or a coaching staff member) is mandatory as per the regulations of cricket governing body.

Sri Lanka skipper Karunaratne and other players from his team were due to face the press after the match in a media conference and ‘mixed zone’.

Asked if Sri Lanka would face any sanction, an ICC spokesman told: “Yes. Sri Lanka have told us they don’t want to do it. The ICC will be speaking to them.”

Sri Lanka’s refusal to meet the media comes just days after their team manager Ashantha de Mel slammed the ICC’s treatment of the squad.

As for as the match is concerned, Australia captain Aaron Finch and pace bowler Mitchell Starc stole the show as the holders eased to an 87-run win over Sri Lanka at the Oval on Saturday. Finch equalled his career-best one-day international score with a masterful 153 and Steve Smith chipped in with 73 as Australia scored 334/7. Needing a World Cup record run-chase to claim a shock win, Sri Lanka got off to a flying start thanks to a first-wicket partnership of 115 between captain Dimuth Karunaratne and Kusal Perera. But Perera departed for 52 and when Karunaratne fell on 97 the game swung back in Australia’s direction.

Starc was the catalyst with a fiery spell of three wickets in six balls, Australia eventually dismissing Sri Lanka for 247 thanks in large part to his 4/55 from 10 overs.

Sri Lanka, who lost their last seven wickets for 42 runs, have only one win from their five matches, a disappointing run that includes two washouts.

They face a struggle to reach the semi-finals with only four matches left, a spell that features encounters with title contenders England and India.

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N Krishnamurthy