Lasith Malinga is going to face an investigation after launching a verbal attack on the Sri Lankan sports minister, in which he likened him to a monkey. The investigation came after the minister raised concerns about the endurance of the players following their exit from the Champions Trophy.
Sri Lanka put down two easy offerings in their do-or-die league game against Pakistan and that cost them dearly in the end as Pakistan snatched victory from Sri Lanka to enter the semi-finals of the tournament. Following that loss, sports minister Dayasiri Jayasekara had questioned the Sri Lankan team's fitness levels. That hurt Malinga and for which, who launched a verbal attack on the minister and compared him to a monkey, which forced Jayasekera to order an inquiry.
"He is now under investigation for making statements to the media in breach of his contract with Sri Lanka Cricket (board)," Jayasekera told AFP.
"In my criticism of the appalling fitness levels of our players, I did not name Malinga, but he has chosen to put the hat on and attack me publicly."
Malinga told a local news website the Minister knew nothing about the game.
He said, "Even the best of fielders can drop catches. Those who are talking without any knowledge of the game can
"We have reached five World Cup finals. In order to get cheap popularity people may say things, but I would like to ask what have they done for the sport.
As per Sri Lanka's Sports Law, after picking the team, the selectors send the list to the Sports Minister for approval. So, Malinga was surprised that the same minister who had approved the list of players for the tournament was questioning their fitness level.
"I would like to mention these players perform and the selectors pick them. Eventually, the Minister of Sports approves that squad. I suppose even for Champions Trophy the minister had to approve the squad. I would like to ask as to how the Minister can question the very team that he himself approved. He will become a joke in society. He is contradicting himself."
"We beat India. Then all was well and good. No one had issues with our fitness. Suddenly we lose a game and then everything is wrong and we have problems with fitness. That is simply being opportunistic to stay away from criticism. Before fingers are being pointed towards him, he is trying to divert the criticism at us," Malinga added.