Off-field upheaval leaves Sri Lanka looking even more vulnerable for ODIs

Sri Lanka Cricketers Training

When the cry went up in the wake of an abject T20I series: “Something must be done about Sri Lanka’s batting”, this probably wasn’t the solution that anyone had envisaged. An evening spent milling about by a bench in Durham’s Market Square for Kusal Mendis, Niroshan Dickwella and Danushka Gunathilaka has left the squad in even greater disarray than had been the case after three singularly one-sided encounters in Cardiff and Southampton.

Notwithstanding the trio’s lack of substantial contributions in those games, their banishment for the remainder of the tour means that Sri Lanka’s hopes of proving more competitive over 50 overs than 20 would appear to be slim in the extreme.

It’s not been a good week for the ECB’s bio-secure protocols – so robust (give or take Jofra Archer’s unscheduled home visit) throughout last summer’s agenda-setting response to the Covid outbreak. Already we’ve had the match referee, Phil Whitticase, test positive for the virus after discharging his duties in the T20Is, while last week’s Edgbaston pitch invasion won’t have done the sport’s lobbying for the return of full crowds many favours…

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