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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 24 June 2018

Sri Lanka's cricket selectors resign en masse after series of defeats

Five selectors, led by former captain Sanath Jayasuriya, hand joint letter of resignation to country's sports minister.

Sri Lanka's chief selector Sanath Jayasuriya, right, resigned along with four colleagues. Eranga Jayawardena / AP Photo
Sri Lanka's chief selector Sanath Jayasuriya, right, resigned along with four colleagues. Eranga Jayawardena / AP Photo

Sri Lanka's cricket selectors resigned en masse on Tuesday, days after fans hurled abuse and projectiles at the beleaguered national side as they suffered another humiliating thrashing on home soil.

The five selectors, led by former captain Sanath Jayasuriya, handed a joint letter of resignation to the country's sports minister Dayasiri Jayasekera, a ministry official told AFP.

The announcement comes midway through India's five-match one-day international tour in Sri Lanka, a series the hosts conceded on Sunday with a third straight loss.

Supporters, tired of thumping losses, leadership changes and mismanagement, booed the home side and lobbed bottles as they approached inevitable defeat at Pallekele.

Indian batsmen's enforced break at Pallekele

Play was held up for about half an hour, after which India recorded a six-wicket win.

"The selection panel felt they should step down, allowing the board to appoint a fresh set of selectors in view of the criticism and the crowd reaction on Sunday," a source close to Jayasuriya told AFP.

The ODI series loss came hard on the heels of India's three-Test series whitewash over Sri Lanka on home soil.

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Selectors have borne a fair share of recent criticism, with Sri Lanka's World Cup-winning captain Arjuna Ranatunga accusing the panel of lacking "backbone".

The latest losses only compounded the misery for the national side, which suffered a humiliating ODI home series defeat against bottom-ranked Zimbabwe and bowed out early from the Champions Trophy in England.

They have also been beset by injury, with batsman Dinesh Chandimal ruled out of the remaining ODIs with a thumb injury and Chamara Kapugedara also likely to miss the matches.

Sri Lanka will play the remaining two ODI matches against India this Thursday and Sunday, and a one-off Twenty20 match against the visitors on September 6.