The inside story of Sri Lanka’s absence from post match press conference

Written by N Krishnamurthy

Dimuth Karunaratne’s side were beaten by 87 runs at the Oval on Saturday, leaving their hopes of progressing to the semi-finals hanging by a slender thread.

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.”

However, when Cricket Age inquired the matter, it emerged that it was a fault of ICC, not the Sri Lanka team management! According to a team source, after humiliating defeat against Australia, the ICC people’s were forcing Sri Lanka team management to send captain Dimuth Karunaratne and Angelo Mathews – for the post match press conference, even though the same players had already attended the pre match press conference. So, it was completely illogical from the ICC to ask for the same players for the post match press conference as well.

Moreover, as Angelo couldn’t contribute with the bat (his scores so far in the tournament are 0,0 and 9), he was disappointed and didn’t want to go for the press conference again.

“Mathews was disappointed with his performance. He wanted to analyze his performance instead of going for post match press conference” the team source told Cricket Age.

However, the ICC didn’t allow Sri Lanka team management to send other players, instead keep asking for the same players ( Dimuth and Angelo).

“In the pre match press conference, they answered the questions. Again, after the match, what new they would have told expect for saying that they didn’t play well, they didn’t perform well” the source added.

Also, the demand for four players for post match press conference seems ridiculous, especially for subcontinent teams.

“In Sri Lanka team, hardly three or four players can speak fluent English. The same situation is with Pakistan and Afghanistan. In this scenario, it is ridiculous from ICC to ask four players for the press conferences” he added further.

To make things worse, in Sri Lanka’s case, ICC didn’t allow team management to send manager Asantha De Mel, instead of players for the post match press conference on Saturday.

“The team management requested that as both Dimuth and Angelo are tired and down and don’t want to attend the conference, they can send Asantha. However, the ICC officials were keep asking only for Dimuth and Angelo” the source added.

The another reason why both Dimuth and Angelo were reluctant to attend Press conference, because of prior experience ( after Cardiff match against New Zealand) of humiliation by the media person’s.

“During Sri Lanka’s previous post match press conference, our players were brutally humiliated by media persons. As a result, players were reluctant to attend again and being humiliated after another loss” the source concluded.

Going by Sri Lanka’s claims to avoid post match press conference, it seems that the ICC are showing its power and arrogance. Few days ago, BCCI and ICC were also an loggerheads over a pre match press conference, when team India’s management had sent reserved players. It seems, instead of being a perfect organiser, the ICC are using the world cup as a platform to show their power and attitude! In this case, the team management of Sri Lanka team has done the right thing to protest against ICC’s dictatorship!

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N Krishnamurthy