Inside Story

Coaching Staff’s tactical blunders Cost Sri Lanka U19 Asia Cup

Written by Sumit Seth

According to experts, tactical blunders of Sri Lanka U19 team coaching staff proved fatal in the final of the Asia Cup, as Dunith Welalage led side was comprehensively thrashed by a superior India in the one sided final.

Sri Lanka’s Under19 Coaching Staff comprises of former International’s Avishka Gunawardene (Head Coach), Sachith Pathirana (Spin Bowling Coach), Chamila Gamage (Fast bowling coach) and Upul Chandana (Spin bowling coach).

The Yash Dhull-led young Indian side hammered Sri Lanka by 9 wickets in the final to seal their eighth title at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium on Friday. Riding on a fine unbeaten 56 from Angkrish Raghuvanshi, India gunned down the 102-run target in just 22 overs to seal a crushing win against Sri Lanka.

In overcast conditions, where covers were removed just a hour before the toss and even Sri Lanka’s openers were seen wearing sweaters, Avishka and his colleagues mysteriously instructed the captain to bat first after winning the toss. Overcast conditions tend to have a lot of moisture, air which helps the ball to move. Avishka and others mysteriously ignored weather conditions and it proved too much for their batters, as the team were bundled out for paltry 102.

“It was strange (to bat first). When the ball is associated with swing as well as linear motion, it deviates constantly. However, Sri Lanka nullified the advantage of winning the all important toss, by opting to bat first” a expert in Sri Lanka told Cricket Age.  

Even in the semi final, against Pakistan, Sri Lanka batters fared poorly, but were escaped by the bowlers. According to experts, slotting important no. 3 batting postilion to left-handed wicket keeper batter Anjala Bandara was also suicidal.

“He is a defensive batter, best suited in the lower middle order. However, Avishka mysteriously kept promoting him at top. These sort of big tactical blunders deprived Sri Lanka from clinching the trophy” another expert added.

Notably, Avishka was banned by the International Cricket Council (ICC) for almost two years with corruption charges. However, in May an independent tribunal cleared him, which allowed him to take part in cricket-related activities.



About the author

Sumit Seth