Colombo: Sri Lanka's Australian cricket coach Geoff Marsh has drawn criticism after the team's loss to Pakistan in the recent Test and ODI series in the UAE with media reports stating that he was more focused on his son Shaun's progress in the Aussie team.
    
In a piece titled 'Geoff in Marshland' in a newspaper, Marsh has been slammed after Sri Lanka's dismal showing against Pakistan in the recent Test series.

"Team sources said Marsh was not concerned to boost the morale of the team when Sri Lankan batsmen were returning to the dressing room in quick succession as wickets tumbled at regular intervals. Instead he has been fully focused on the first Test in Cape Town where Australia was shot out for 47," the report said.

Marsh took over the Sri Lankan job after his compatriot Trevor Bayliss left at the end of the World Cup in April.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Sports said the minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage held "an open" discussion with the senior members of the Sri Lanka team to take stock of the situation following the national team's recent disastrous run which includes three consecutive series losses against England, Australia and Pakistan.

He has urged cricket team skipper Tillakaratne Dilshan to maintain sound communications with the selection committee and coach to help end their losing streak. Close on the heels of Sri Lanka's loss to Pakistan, their third successive in recent times, Aluthgamage met the players, selectors and administrators on Tuesday to find a solution ahead of next month's tour of South Africa.

"It was revealed that the main reason why the national cricket team had failed to perform was due to miscommunication between the team, the selectors and the coaches," the ministry said in a statement.

"It was discussed in detail the importance and the necessity for captain Tillakaratne Dilshan to maintain sound communications with the selection committee and coach (Geoff Marsh)."

The players were allowed to "openly and freely" discuss matters with the minister, the statement added.

Sri Lanka have failed to win Test and one-day series in their last three encounters in England, at home against Australia and in the United Arab Emirates against Pakistan.

Their worst performance came against Pakistan earlier this month when they lost the Test series 1-0 and the one-dayers 4-1, before being thrashed by five wickets in the
lone Twenty20 international.

Mahela Jayawardena, Kumar Sangakkara, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Lasith Malinga and Angelo Mathews had taken part in the discussion and all senior players had pledged to extend full cooperation to Dilshan as captain.

(Agencies)