"His excuse has been that he loves chocolates"- Sri Lanka coach Mickey Arthur lashes out at Bhanuka Rajapaksa

Sri Lanka coach Mickey Arthur is unhappy with Bhanuka Rajapaksa's attitude.
Sri Lanka coach Mickey Arthur is unhappy with Bhanuka Rajapaksa's attitude.

Sri Lankan coach Mickey Arthur has hit out at batsman Bhanuka Rajapaksa for his comments regarding players being mistreated by the team management.

Arthur revealed that Bhanuka Rajapaksa was given a special diet to follow, but the batsman didn't adhere to the diet plans because of his apparent love for chocolates.

Mickey Arthur is taking no prisoners and has claimed he doesn't like 'sloppy cricketers'. He termed Bhanuka Rajapaksa a player who is happy to be in his comfort zone.

"Bhanuka (Rajapaksa) has got to make some commitments and he’s got to look after his diet. His excuse has been that he loves chocolates. If you want to be one of the finest cricketers, then you have got to make some sacrifices. We had a diet plan for him and we expected him to look after himself but his skin folds have gone up again.
"I was upset that he (Bhanuka Rajapaksa) was running with gloves in hand. It highlights the fact that he didn’t push the first run hard. It was just sloppy cricket and I don’t like sloppy cricketers. That shows me his attitude as he jogs the first run. If someone has scored 120 in 40 degrees heat, I can understand that. But I want our players to get out of their comfort zones,” Mickey Arthur said in an interaction with The Island.

Arthur gave the example of Kusal Perera and highlighted how the new Sri Lanka skipper has adhered to fitness standards which helped him score a brilliant 120 in the third and final ODI against Bangladesh.

"Janith [Kusal Perera] has lost 15 percent of his skinfolds. In that humidity of Dhaka, the other day, he batted for 42 overs and scored a match-winning hundred. If he is not at the best standards, he gives it away at 60 odd. Fitness gives you the base to score those runs and be electric on the field."

What did Bhanuka Rajapaksa say that miffed Mickey Arthur?

Bhanuka Rajapaksa
Bhanuka Rajapaksa

In a recent interview, Bhanuka Rajapaksa shed light on the mistreatment he received because of his fitness. The batsman believes working out in the gym for hours won't help his performance on the cricket field.

"When you run on the gym or work out on the gym, I don’t think you can improve your performance. For 12 years I have not suffered a major injury or broken down during a game. I have been given step-motherly treatment. The board sorts out my visa and everything to go on tours, but in the last moment I am told that I can not make the tour because my skin folds are high. When I was dropped, the head coach told me that I was running with the gloves in hands and that I didn’t have commitment for running between the wickets."

Bhauka Rajapaksa has played seven T20Is for Sri Lanka and scored a brilliant 77 in 2019 against Pakistan. However, he last played a T20I in January 2020 and has since been overlooked across all formats.

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Edited by Arjun Panchadar
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