Colombo – Sri Lankan newspapers and fans lambasted the
national cricket team on Tuesday after the former champions were dumped out of the
Asia Cup by up-and-coming Afghanistan.
“The flop of Asia,” ran the private Daily Mirror’s
headline, while the state-run Daily News said one-day cricket had hit a
The Island daily lamented the “sad night for Sri Lankan
Afghanistan demonstrated their rise in international cricket
with their 91-run win over Sri Lanka in Abu Dhabi on Monday.
Sri Lanka needed to win the Group B match to stay in the
tournament but were outwitted by Afghanistan who put up a fighting total of 249
all out at Sheikh Zayed Stadium.
Sri Lanka, who now have lost 30 of their 40 matches since
January 2017, had lost to Bangladesh by 137 runs in Dubai on Saturday at the
opening match of the tournament.
The Mirror said the performance did not augur well for the
World Cup in England and Wales next year.
“Sri Lanka now require a great deal of soul-searching
to be a competitive outfit in white-ball cricket before the 1996 World
Champions become a laughing stock in the world – if they aren’t that
already,” the Mirror said.
Disappointed Sri Lankan fans took to social media to vent
their anger, with many memes ridiculing the national team.
“We could have stayed in the Asia Cup at least till
India played its first match,” said one social media user.
India’s first game, against Hong Kong, was scheduled for later
Another social media user ridiculed batsman Kusal Mendis who
was out for a duck, saying there would have been more cheer if a different
“Mendis” was included – referring to a popular alcoholic drink known
as “Mendis Special”.
Another fan speculated tongue-in-cheek that the poor
performance was all part of a strategy to dupe other teams into thinking Sri
Lanka were weak before next year’s World Cup.