Sri Lanka Playing 11 vs Afghanistan, 1st ODI, 2024
Photo Credit: (AP)

Former Sri Lankan legend Muttiah Muralitharan has slammed his team’s performance in the recently concluded ICC World Cup 2023. The Islanders finished ninth on the points table with just two wins and seven losses in the World Cup. They also lost to Afghanistan in the tournament.

Several key players from the side were injured which is why their bowling attack was amongst the weakest of the tournament. The biggest name missing was Wanindu Hasaranga who was ruled out with an injury.

Muralitharan while in an exclusive conversation with News18, admits that this was their worst performance. He pointed out several reasons behind Sri Lanka’s recent performance in the bygone World Cup. He said that this was the team’s worst performance in World Cups since 1975 and said the reason behind it was the lack of commitment from the players.

“I would say that ever since we got the World Cup qualification in 1975, this is our worst performance ever. I think it’s because of the lack of commitments. Don’t know what happened in the middle but the fact remains that they weren’t good enough,” Murali said.

However, he hoped that this recent performance helped the team and the management identify areas that they need to work on and further hopes that the players will improve their individual performance as well.

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We Should Derive lessons From This World Cup: Muttiah Muralitharan

“We should derive a lesson from this World Cup about where we went wrong and each player needs to improve individually. They need to work on themselves and bounce back,” the legendary spinner further said.

The spin legend also shared his opinion on ICC’s removal of the U-19 World Cup from Sri Lanka to South Africa. While the ICC believes that this shift is a safe option, Muralitharan says this call will prove to be detrimental to young Sri Lankan cricketers. He also blamed the internal politics between the board and the players for the same.

“It’s a political thing happening in Sri Lanka. The sports ministry and SLC are fighting. Between them, the sport got sandwiched. That’s the hard truth,” he says adding, “We don’t know who can solve this. There are too many unanswered questions.”

He concluded by saying that he is hoping that Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe will address this issue and bring an end to the problem.

“I hope that the President of our country will get involved in this and solve this. The sports ministry has to listen to the President and the board has to obey the laws of the country. Both the parties need to be on the same page” he concluded saying.

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Anshuman Roy is an author at Cricketaddictor. He has been working with the organization since January 2022 and he has written more than 5000 articles for the website.