Sports News

Fear psychosis among SL cricket youngsters!

Senior players’ undue pressure on the juniors have created unhealthy atmosphere among Sri Lanka squad

News emerging from the current Sri Lanka squad reveals that its youngsters are feeling immense pressure from at least three senior players resulting in the “juniors” to undergo fear psychosis.

The situation, The Morning Sports understood, has resulted in the number of junior and up-and-coming players in the Sri Lanka Test and white-ball squads suffering pressure and intimidation, a development which is likely to further erode their performance in future international series.

Ashantha De Mel’s response

“The entry of two senior players into the Tests in Galle (against England last month) has affected the team unity. They brought in unnecessary pressure on the players. The team members say the two players’ intention is to use their political clout and establish their places in the team,” an inside source told The Morning Sports on the condition of anonymity.

Queried about the saddening situation, Ashantha de Mel, the Manager of the two Galle Tests against England which the home team lost 2-0, said he cannot make any comments because he is no longer the Manager nor he is holding any responsibility of the national team now. De Mel resigned both as the Manager and the Chairman of the National Selection Committee soon after the England series.

Tactfully omitting others!

“But I can say that the team’s unity was in tatters when I took over as the Head of national selectors back in 2016. I could manage to bring back unity and teamwork then, especially by appointing Dimuth Karunaratne as the Captain. Thereafter we won a few good series in South Africa and Pakistan,” De Mel explained.

Meanwhile the said inside source mentioned above further added that the young players in the current Sri Lanka squad are in fear of actively involving in team’s work and some of them are allegedly in fear of losing their place in the side due to undue interference.

The Galle dressing room was proof of this growing unhealthy trend, he said

Social media campaigns

“The two, three seniors who have their influence are dictating terms on them (the juniors). They tactfully get rid of prominent young players from the team. The recent disciplinary incident reported in the media after the Galle Test series involving a young player was also leaked to the social media by one of those two seniors,” he revealed.

“A brother of one of those seniors maintain a social media campaign using Facebook memes and all to promote his brother while damaging the image of other players in the squad who become a challenge to him,” he further said.

How to improve

“The situation is becoming worse. This may aggravate once the third senior player too is to come into the squad of the limited-over side. He also wields a lot of political power,” he predicted.

“If the seniors are more worried about protecting their own place in the team this way, by hook or by crook, and the juniors are in a fear psychosis, how can our national team become successful,” the questioned.