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Sri Lanka eyes redemption against Zimbabwe

30 June 2017

It may be a surprise considering that there was a major attack on the Sri Lankan team when it toured Pakistan last, eight years back, in March 2009.

Sports minister Dayasiri Jayasekara said that not one of the 13 players was fit by worldwide standards, but that he has "made an exception this time". "We have got to play good competitive cricket for countries to want to play against us".

Jayasekera explained to the media that none of the 13-man squad met the required global fitness standards and he also noted that high levels of injuries were due to poor endurance of the team members. Three other fitness tests were also carried out.

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Fast bowler Lasith Malinga only managed to scrape through two tests, while he failed the third one.

Malinga was slapped with a fine of 50 per cent of his match fee for Friday s game and given a six-month suspended match-ban for comparing Jayasekera to a "monkey" and saying the minister knew nothing about cricket.

He further said that the host country would be providing a similar kind of high-profile security to the Sri Lankan team as provided to foreign players during the Pakistan Super League (PSL) final at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore earlier this year.

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He has warned any player with a body fat percentage over 16 will not be allowed to represent the country.

A World XI team would also be touring Pakistan in September, with players from Australia, West Indies, Sri Lanka and South Africa.

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Sri Lanka eyes redemption against Zimbabwe