Sanath Jayasuriya wants Sri Lankan players to 'come out of their comfort zone and train'
Chief Selector of Sri Lankan cricket team, Sanath Jayasuriya, has expressed concern over the increasing frequency of injuries to key personnel. After the players returned from a tumultuous tour of UK and Ireland, ESPN Cricinfo reported the former skipper questioning their commitment in dealing with fitness issues.
Simon Willis, the team’s High-Performance Manager had earlier claimed that the injury woes could have been minimised if the squads were named early as preparatory work would have been better. However, Jayasuriya believed that the cricketers themselves needed to take better responsibility for their actions.
He admitted, “Simon Willis is right in one sense, but my concern is that injuries have been happening for some time. 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.”
The stalwart added, “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.”
Following a 2-0 loss in the Tests, Sri Lanka’s trip became worse with convincing defeats in the limited-overs leg which meant that they remained winless against England across all three formats.
Jayasuriya was particularly worried about the deteriorating fitness of the seamers and felt that the performances might have been a lot more positive had the bowling lineup stayed fit throughout the series.
The attacking left-hander declared, “There could be a lot of cricket for sure. 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.”
He hoped, “If we can get the same players playing through a series, there will be a difference. 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.”
Sri Lanka will have to address Jayasuriya’s concerns almost immediately with Australia set to visit their shores for a full tour from the 26th onwards.