Sri Lanka’s horrific batting display in recent times has shocked not only cricket fraternity, but it’s die hard fans also. There were the days, when legends like Sanath Jayasuriya, Aravinda De Silva, Mahela Jayawardene used to score hundreds for the fun. In that golden era, Sri Lanka had broken almost all the batting records of every format. Now, the current generation struggles to put up a decent total 9 times out of 10. There was a time, when Sri Lanka batsmen used to score multiple hundreds in a match. Now, they hardly scores 3-4 hundreds in a year! Obviously, with this pathetic display, national team’s current batting coach Grant Flower has been under scanner for not being able to produce any significant results.
Flower, former right hand batsman of Zimbabwe, was hired by Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) on a two year deal in December 2019. He came in a package, along with head coach Micky Arthur.
Right after the arrival, his very first words were to make Sri Lanka one of the top contender to win last year’s T20 World Cup, which will now be played in October-November this year, due to COVID.
One and half year on, under his watch, Sri Lanka is now placed at 10th place in ICC T20 Rankings and it’s batsmen have become a laughing stock for playing kindergarten cricket at international level.
As recently as against England, in the T20I series where Sri Lanka were whitewashed 3-0, the batsmen scored their runs with a strike rate of below 80. It was slow, even for a ODI match in this modern era!
Shockingly, when Cricket Age inquired, it learned that Flower draws a whopping 8,000 US$ salary per month, for teaching this horrific batting display to Sri Lanka players!
“As a batting coach, not only he has turned a joke, under his watch Sri Lanka batsmen have also embarrassed country’s batting legacy. He is an utter failure” a Sri Lanka Cricket expert told Cricket Age.
Over the decades, Sri Lanka Cricket hires overseas white elephants like Flower for reasons best known to Maitland Place’s decision makers! In World Cricket, after India, Sri Lanka has produced the most number of batting greats in recent history! However, their own cricket board picks mediocre foreigner coaches, to oblige them with paid holidays with usually two year contracts!
“Their is no dearth of young batting talents in Sri Lanka team. Players like Avishka Fernando, Pathum Nisshanka, Ashen Bandara, Charith Asalanka have the potential to become next generation batting greats! However, an uninspiring Flower has failed miserably in his role to motivate Sri Lanka as a batting unit.
“He is still surviving, only because of a gang of foreigners in Sri Lanka cricket who are applying ‘you scratch my back, I will scratch yours, you protect my job, I will protect yours’ policy” an insider at SLC told Cricket Age.
As his two years contract to be finished in December this year, it’s very unlikely that SLC will retain him. He will most certainly fly back to Zimbabwe, the decision makers (now it’s Aravinda de Silva led Advisory committee) will again be searching for another overseas white elephant! In between, it’s also certain that, Sri Lanka will slip further in the Rankings! After all, it has become a most followed process in last two decades!