Lasith Malinga © Getty Images
Lasith Malinga © Getty Images

Sri Lanka are going through a rough phase of late. Upul Tharanga was handed a two-month ban for slow over rate during the second ODI. That was followed by injuries to Dinesh Chandimal and stand-in-captain Chamara Kapugedara in third ODI. They were also bombarded with plastic bottles by the fans during the third ODI at Kandy that was followed by resignation of the selection panel led by Sanath Jayasuriya after India sealed the ODI series 3-0. Owing to a series of injuries and resignation of the selection panel, Lasith Malinga has been handed over the captaincy for fourth ODI against India. He becomes Sri Lanka’s fifth captain in this tour and third captain in ODI series.

Two months ago Malinga was fined and handed a suspended ban for comments he made on the Sports Minister at the end of Sri Lanka’s campaign in Champions Trophy. The shift in captaincy has come after the selection panel sent a lengthy resignation letter to the Sports Minister stating Sri Lanka have won just 4 off their 15 matches across formats. Sri Lanka saw shift in captaincy during the Test series as well when Rangana Herath took the reins after Dinesh Chandimal was ruled out of the first Test due to injury. Sri Lanka have been suffering from horrific campaign over past few months. Their losses against Zimbabwe in ODIs lead to Angelo Mathews’ resignation as Sri Lanka’s captain.

After Sri Lanka’s poor performance in Champions Trophy, Sports Minister Dayasiri Jayasekara said the team’s poor fielding display throughout the tournament was due to substandard fitness and their “big bellies”.

Malinga’s response to the minister’s comments through a media interaction, mentioned “I don’t care about criticism from those who are simply warming chairs. What does a monkey know about a parrot’s nesting hollow? This is like a monkey getting into a parrot’s nest and talking about it,” handed him a 50 per cent fine as well as a one year ban.