Lankan cricketers advised to ignore trolls over 'slump'

| Updated: Aug 08, 2017 23:32 IST

Colombo [Sri Lanka], August 8 (ANI): At a time when Sri Lanka cricket is going through a tough phase, the cricketers of the national cricket team have been advised to ignore trolling on social media and rather focus on giving their best for the country. Following a humiliating 304-run defeat against India in the opening Test at Galle, Sri Lanka suffered yet another heart-wrenching defeat by an innings and 53 runs in the second Test, thus losing the three-match series 0-2 with a game yet to be played. The defeat against the Virat Kohli-led side came after Sri Lanka lost a home ODI series to bottom-ranked Zimbabwe, and made an early exit from the Champions Trophy. Ahead of the final Test beginning Saturday at Pallekele, former Sri Lanka captain and mentor Aravinda de Silva has advised the team to have confidence in themselves and play to their strengths. He further advised the young players to focus on their talent and capabilities, giving their best for their country and to not be discouraged by extraneous elements that seek to demoralise them via social media and gossip sites, according to a Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) statement. The Sri Lankan team has found itself at the receiving end after their recent dismal performances. Sri Lanka Deputy Minister of National Policies Harsha de Silva tweeted a picture of himself with Kohli saying: "Told Virat Kohli #India Cricket to go easy on #SriLanka next Test. 600 a bit too steep." <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Told Virat Kohli <a href="">#India</a> Cricket to go easy on <a href="">#SriLanka</a> next test. 600 a bit too steep ?? <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; Harsha de Silva (@HarshadeSilvaMP) <a href="">August 7, 2017</a></blockquote> <script async src="//" charset="utf-8"></script> The country's cricket board said the players met with top officials and coaches on Monday at a strategic session aimed at recouping and regrouping ahead of the Pallekele Test. "Sri Lanka are currently facing what is perceived to be a 'slump' in their performance and ranking, as it invests in rectifying a series of administrative and strategic missteps over the past several years," said an SLC statement. "Sri Lanka dominated the cricket world since 1996 to 2014 in all three formats of the game, however a lack in strategic investment in areas such as injury and player management during this time has resulted in a longer than anticipated re-building period after the retirement of several senior players," it added. Meanwhile, chairman of selectors Sanath Jayasuriya noted that with the correct roadmap and procedures in place, tangible, positive results were a matter of time and requested everyone to stay "focused and remain positive" with the 2019 World Cup as their singular goal. (ANI)