Sri Lankan cricket fans appear to have had enough of the team's poor run against India as a group of them gathered behind the team bus yesterday and shouted slogans against them. In response, Sri Lanka's interim coach admitted that the players and staff have to take responsibility for the results.
The fact that Sri Lankan cricket is currently in turmoil is plain to see as the 1996 World Cup winners have struggled to beat teams in recent past which
However, it seems unlikely that the island nation will be able to secure direct qualification for the tournament in England and Wales as India have looked rampant on the tour so far, whitewashing them in the three match Test series.
Following the whitewash, Upul Tharanga, the ODI skipper, called on the fans to rally behind the team, before the change of formats, particularly given that Sri Lanka had beaten India in the Champions Trophy in June. But as things turned out, India continued to dominate on the tour in the first ODI, yesterday, as they dismissed the hosts for a paltry total of 216 before Shikhar Dhawan smashed his third hundred of the tour and Kohli managed 82* off 70 balls to help India take a 1-0 lead in the five match series.
And now, following this latest defeat, it seems as though the Lankan fans have had enough as around 50 fans gathered behind the bus as the players were about to board after the game and began chanting, "We want our cricket back" and "Bring back brand of cricket we played in 1996."
Riot police had to intervene to clear the fans before the team members boarded the bus and headed towards the team hotel.
Speaking after the loss, Sri Lanka's interim coach Nic Pothas told journalists, "It swings between hurt and embarrassment. Emotionally you get angry. You get frustrated. You can't fault anyone within that changing room. Yes, we didn't play our best cricket today. That's pretty obvious. You do get angry. To say 'too many cooks' is probably accurate.
"We were 139 for one. Then we were 77 for 9. To lose nine wickets in 19 overs is in anyone's language unacceptable. We've got to take that on the chin as staff, as players, and that's the reality of sport," Pothas added.