Disappointing that SL has to play T20 qualifiers-Malinga

January 10, 2019

Sri Lanka ODI and T20 skipper Lasith Malinga says it is really disappointing to need to qualify for the 2020 World Twenty20, having won the World T20 in 2014.

Once the No.1 T20 side in the world, Malinga said Sri Lanka should “never have let things get so bad” that they are now forced to play in a qualifying tournament in order to gain entry to the T20 World Cup proper.

He said inside five years Sri Lanka has slipped lower than No.8. Sri Lanka is ninth on the T20 rankings after losing 12 of their 16 most-recent matches, the ICC announced earlier this month that they would not gain automatic entry into the “Super 12” round of next year’s T20 World Cup.

Instead, they will have to finish in the top two in a group of four in the opening round of the competition, in order to progress into the part of the tournament into which the eight top teams gain automatic entry.

Malinga said “We have a chance to get into the World Cup by playing qualifiers, but we’re not a country that should ever have fallen that far. We’re a country that’s won two World Cups. We’ve gone wrong somewhere. But if the right people come into the right places, things can be put right quickly as well.”

Lasith Malinga will captain a T20 international for the first time since 2016, when Sri Lanka take the field against New Zealand in Auckland tomorrow and was hopeful the recent decline could be arrested.

Malinga said with the players Sri Lanka has, a good team can be built adding a little effort is what is needed.

He said it is important to cultivate skills necessary for T20s adding as captain, along with the team management, he also has a responsibility to try and help the players tune their existing skills to the T20 format.