13 Jan 2016

Partying Sri Lanka cricketers to be investigated

11:56 am on 13 January 2016

Sri Lanka's demoralised cricket team faces an investigation into alleged "scandalous behaviour" during its dismal tour of New Zealand, including drinking parties and squabbling, according to Sri Lankan media reports.

Angelo Mathews

Angelo Mathews Photo: Photosport

Angelo Mathews and his teamates enjoyed little success on the field, but enjoyed themselves off it according to media reports.

Sports minister Dayasiri Jayasekera said he had been handed photos of players attending all-night parties just before games against New Zealand.

Sri Lanka came to New Zealand as defending Twenty20 world champions and world number one but slipped to third following their 2-nil loss in the T20 matches.

New Zealand also convincingly won the test and one day series.

Jayasekera says when the side returns he wants to speak to team members and find out what happened.

"My main concern is the breakdown in discipline. When that is affected, the team naturally performs badly," he said of reported squabbling between players, including the captain, and the coach.

The minister said Sri Lanka would also focus on finding a long-term coach after Marvan Atapattu quit weeks before his contract was due to expire in September last year.

Sri Lanka appointed Jerome Jayaratne as interim coach, initially for the home series against the West Indies and then for the New Zealand tour.

Jayaratne, 49, had been head of coaching at Sri Lanka Cricket but his elevation to oversee the national team was seen as a stop-gap arrangement.

Atapattu was the seventh Sri Lanka head coach in the past five years.

The 45-year-old took over the team in September 2014 after Englishman Paul Farbrace abruptly quit months earlier to become England's deputy coach.

Since 2010, Trevor Bayliss, Stuart Law, Rumesh Ratnayake, Geoff Marsh and Graham Ford have also held stints as Sri Lanka coach.

Jayaratne, a former Under 19 international, had headed the coaching department for seven years.