Former Sri Lanka captain and current consultant coach Mahela Jayawardene opened on the Islanders' abysmal ICC World Cup 2023 campaign that saw them winning only two matches out of possible nine.
Jayawardene, who represented Sri Lanka in 652 international matches, blamed the poor fitness level of the players for their woeful journey in the mega event.
Sri Lanka finished ninth on the World Cup points table with four points and a negative net run rate (NRR) of -1.419 and returned to their country on Friday (November 10).
Jayawardene talked about the areas the Islanders need to improve in if they want to become a top team again.
“For me, the biggest thing is the fitness. What I noticed over the course of a tournament like this, because of our fitness, the fatigue got into us, and the performance died down,” he said.
“From the first game to the last game, we saw guys make a lot more mistakes. That happens with mental and physical fatigue and then the execution and the concentration lacks because of that.”
It must be noted that Sri Lanka also missed out on qualification for the 2025 ICC Champions Trophy which will be held in Pakistan.
The Islanders ended their mega event campaign with a thumping loss against New Zealand in Bengaluru after which they were reliant on Australia to register a big win against Bangladesh to qualify for the 2025 Champions Trophy which will be held in Pakistan.
However, even though Australia managed to beat Bangladesh convincingly as Mitchell Marsh smashed 177 and helped his side win the match by eight wickets, the Aussies chased down the 307-run target in 44.4 overs which couldn't dent the Tigers' NRR.
Sri Lanka faced many problems in this World Cup. Many of their key players were ruled out of the tournament along with skipper Dasun Shanaka after Kusal Mendis was named the interim captain.
On the other hand, on Friday (November 10), The International Cricket Council (ICC) Board suspended Sri Lanka Cricket’s membership of the ICC with immediate effect.