Sports

IND Vs SL: Sri Lanka Police Deploys Anti-riot Squad Outside SLC Premises Post Cricket World Cup Debacle

Irate fans of Sri Lanka cricket, on social media, demanded the resignation of the entire executive committee headed by president Shammi Silva.

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Sri Lanka captain Dasun Shanaka with coach Chris Silverwood.
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Sri Lanka police's anti-riot squad was on deployed on Friday in front of the premises of the country's cricket board (SLC) following fears of a demonstration by enraged fans after the national team's crashing defeat at the hands of India in the ongoing World Cup. The police riot squad, equipped with water cannons, was deployed near the SLC office at Maitland Place after some fans had warned of a demonstration in front of the premises, calling for the resignation of Sri Lanka Cricket's governing body. (Scorecard | Pics | Report | Points Table | Full Coverage)

Irate fans, on social media, demanded the resignation of the entire executive committee headed by president Shammi Silva.

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In a statement, the SLC had called for "an urgent and comprehensive explanation from the coaching staff and selectors," for the debacle at the Wankhede Stadium on Thursday.

In their ICC Cricket World Cup fixture on Thursday, India thrashed Sri Lanka by 302 runs to record their seventh straight win and become the first team to qualify for the semifinals. India had amassed a mammoth 357 for 8 in 50 overs and then bundled out a hapless Sri Lanka for a paltry 55 in 19.4 overs to register their biggest victory by margin of runs in the 48-year history of the tournament.

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In September this year, India had bowled out Sri Lanka for 50 in the Asia Cup final with Mohammed Siraj recording bowling figures of 6/21. Post the result, there were calls for Dasun Shanaka to axed as skipper but the Sri Lankan Cricket Board (SLC) retained the all-rounder for the World Cup.

"Perhaps it’s time Sri Lanka moved on from Shanaka before the country ends up being an absolute joke in the World Cup,” a local paper said in a scathing editorial.

"They did better with five more runs than in the Asia Cup," Sujith Amendra, a 40-year-old tuk tuk (auto) driver and an ardent cricket fan said of the Asia Cup disaster.

The fans in general are calling for a complete overhaul of the SLC management, accusing it of making wrong decisions to leave the team weaker. 

Speculation is rife that sports minister Roshan Ranasinghe may appoint an interim committee by sacking the current administration of Silva. The ICC, however, is averse to politically appointed governing bodies. The 1973 sports law gives the minister power over sports bodies.

Talking about the World Cup, Sri Lanka are not completely out of the top-four reckoning mathematically. The 1996 champions have played seven games and have four points with a net run rate of -1.162. Kusal Mendis' side must win their remaining games and hope other results go their way if they are to make the semi-finals. 

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