COLOMBO: Sri Lanka’s cricket coach, Nick Pothas, has blamed outside interference for a string of poor performances, saying frequent changes to the selection line-up had made his job ‘very difficult’.
Pothas hit out after Sri Lanka, who suffered a 3-0 Test whitewash at home last week, went down to India by nine wickets in the first of five one-day internationals in Dambulla on Sunday.
“You do get angry – to say ‘too many cooks’ is probably accurate,” the former wicketkeeper-batsman told reporters in Dambulla.
“You get frustrated. Am I angry with the players? Absolutely not. The players work as hard as anyone can ask of them.
“They’ve been superb. Support staff have been out of this world. Brilliant. They work endless hours with planning and helping the boys. You can’t fault anyone within that changing room.”
Sri Lanka’s woeful run has continued since their first-round exit in the eight-team Champions Trophy in June followed by an embarrassing 3-2 ODI loss to minnows Zimbabwe at home.
The Sanath Jayasuriya-led selection committee has fielded 40 players in ODIs since taking over in May last year.
Pothas, who took up coaching duties after Graham Ford quit mid-contract end of June, said there had been too many changes.
“When you get consistency within a team of players, you will see improvements in performance,” said the 43-year-old. “When we’re getting new players every game, it gets very difficult from a confidence point of view. From the player’s point of view it’s very difficult. It’s difficult for us – the coaching staff – to create a strategy.”
There have been reports of a power struggle emerging after 1996 World Cup hero Asanka Gurusinha was appointed manager.
The result of the current series apart, Sri Lanka need to win at least two of the five games to gain a direct entry into the 2019 World Cup in England.