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Sri Lanka cricket needs clean-up: Bayliss

Former selector De Silva wants SL to copy Aussies’ fighting spirit.

COLOMBO: Sri Lanka’s outgoing coach Trevor Bayliss said the country needed a strong and stable cricket administration to allow players to focus only on the game and not be distracted by politics.

“On the field, we’ve done pretty well for the past 18 months,” said Bayliss who added that Sri Lanka could improve the way the game was being run in the country. “Good teams usually have strong or good management backing the team up. That’s an area we can improve here.

“I am constantly amazed how well the players do, with all the distractions put in front of them. It seems to be the subcontinent way. That’s a skill in itself.”

‘Key resignations regrettable’

Bayliss added that the resignations of Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene were regrettable.

“I think it’s a shame. They are the best two guys to take Sri Lanka forward. They probably had enough of putting up with distractions. They have done a great service to Sri Lanka. Guess they deserve a break.”

Bayliss picked young all-rounder Angelo Mathews as a future captain.

“I think the 23-year-old Mathews could be a future captain. Maybe a couple of years for him at the international level would do well to get some confidence first, before adding on the responsibility as captain.”

‘Emulate spirited Australia’

Sri Lanka’s outgoing chief selector and former batsman Aravinda de Silva urged players to develop the never-say-die spirit shown by Australia.

“We are superior in talent to Australia, but it is the fighting spirit which we must inculcate in our players,” said de Silva.

De Silva said he felt players became “emotional” during the final as the match tilted in India’s favour.

“This is the difference between Australia and us. They don’t give up the match until the last ball is bowled.”