Saturday, 13 August 2022
Onus for avoiding injuries also on players - Jayasuriya

Onus for avoiding injuries also on players - Jayasuriya

Sri Lanka's chief selector Sanath Jayasuriya has placed the onus for avoiding injuries partially on the cricketers, upon the team's return from a difficult tour of the UK and Ireland.

Sri Lanka's attack was significantly depleted by injury on their travels. Lasith Malinga and legspinner Jeffrey Vandersay were ruled out before the squad was named, then Dhammika Prasad and Dushmantha Chameera were forced to return during the early stages of the tour. Angelo Mathews was also unable to bowl during parts of the ODI series, and allrounder Milinda Siriwardana had suffered an ankle injury that made him unavailable for the third Test.

Sri Lanka's new high performance manager Simon Willis had said on Wednesday that injuries might be better avoided if squads were named early, and conditioning work undertaken before the tours begin. Jayasuriya, however, chose to focus on the players' "commitment", and suggested more accountability from the cricketers was necessary.

"Simon Willis is right in one sense, but my concern is that injuries have been happening for some time," Jayasuriya said. "We also need the commitment from the players. You can't deny that also. I'm saying that in front of the players. They have to come out of their comfort zone and train.

"No matter how much myself, Simon and Sri Lanka Cricket are committed, if the player isn't committed, you can't do it. I'm not saying they are not committed - they are committed - but they need to do something different to come out and solve this issue."

Sri Lanka's fast-bowling stocks have been particularly vulnerable to injury over the past three years. Malinga is presently in the middle of a months-long injury layoff, Chameera has suffered a stress reaction that could see him out of action for as many as four months, and Prasad has now missed two entire Test series.

"There could be a lot of cricket for sure," Jayasuriya said. "Then you have to pick the tour and say: 'I will be playing on this particular tour'. If there's too much cricket, then the player has to say: 'I'm not going to last long', and stay out. Then we can think of something else."

Both Jayasuriya and Angelo Mathews said injuries had significantly hamstrung Sri Lanka during the recent tour, where the side suffered a 2-0 defeat in the Test series and lost the ODI series 3-0. Sri Lanka's attack was especially ineffective against England's top order during the limited-overs series.

"If we can get the same players playing through a series, there will be a difference," Jayasuriya said. "Unlike when the tour started, by their fourth innings in the Tests, the batsmen were able to score 475. That's because the same batting unit stayed together. But the bowlers break down from match to match. If we can stop that, we can get to a good place. In the end only Nuwan Pradeep and Suranga Lakmal were left from the bowlers who started the tour, and even Lakmal, in the last match, had a knee injury."

Jayasuriya also defended his committee's selection of Ramith Rambukwella for the one-off T20, stating that Rambukwella's ability to clear the boundaries, and his offspin, had prompted his selection.


Last modified on Monday, 11 July 2016 08:52