Mahela Jayawardene announced his retirement from the game after the 2015 ICC World Cup. (Getty Images)
Mahela Jayawardene announced his retirement from the game after the 2015 ICC World Cup. (Getty Images)

Bruised and battered, the Sri Lankan cricket team, once a powerhouse in Asia, returned home after a humbling 91-run loss at the hands of an unheralded Afghanistan side in the Asia Cup on Monday. The 1996 World Cup champs were in a must-win situation after they lost their tournament opener against Bangladesh by 137 runs.

Since the departure of former captains, Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene after the 2015 World Cup, the level of Sri Lankan cricket has fallen to deplorable levels. Their recent exit from the Asia Cup created an outrage on social media and within the country with many lambasting and ridiculing the team. Some dailies even termed Angelo Mathews and Co as ‘The flop of Asia’.

Such has been Sri Lanka’s downfall that the team have now lost 30 out of their 40 matches they played since January 2017. They are currently eighth in the ICC rankings with Bangladesh 17 points ahead occupying the seventh spot.

The trolling was too much for Jayawardene, who voiced his support for the Sri Lankan cricket team on Wednesday. “Looking at all the social media jokes and criticism on the SL team.. yes they played poorly but let’s not get personal. It’s a sports,” Jayawardene wrote on Twitter.

 

However, all is not lost for the Sri Lankan cricket team. “More sole searching to do and find solutions. That’s the way forward,” Jayawardene added.