Veteran fast bowler Lasith Malinga was fined and handed a suspended ban by Sri Lanka Cricket on Tuesday for his response to sports minister Dayasiri Jayasekara’s stinging assessment of the team after their Champions Trophy exit.
Malinga was banned for one year (suspended for six months) and fined 50 per cent of his next ODI match fee after he hit back at Jayasekara’s claim that the Sri Lanka team was unfit during the tournament.
Following Sri Lanka’s Champions Trophy group-stage exit earlier this month, Jayasekara said the team’s poor fielding display throughout the tournament was due to substandard fitness and their "big bellies".
Malinga’s responded to the minister’s comments, saying: "I don’t care about criticism from those who are simply warming chairs," he said.
"What does a monkey know about a parrot’s nesting hollow?
"This is like a monkey getting into a parrot’s nest and talking about it."
According to SLC, Malinga breached his contract twice for speaking to the media without the consent of the governing body, and was subsequently punished by a special Executive Committee.
However, Malinga is not in danger of missing Sri Lanka’s next match – a one-day international against Zimbabwe in Galle on June 30 – where he will lose half of his match fee.
Can't agree more.. https://t.co/lFI7x6QWiE— Mahela Jayawardena (@MahelaJay) June 28, 2017
The 33-year-old, who made his ODI comeback in the Champions Trophy after 18 months out with injury, was named in Sri Lanka’s 13-man squad for the first two 50-over fixtures against Zimbabwe.
Fielding coach Noc Pothas, the former South Africa wicket-keeper batsman and long-serving Hampshire player, will act as interim head coach for Zimbabwe's tour until the end of India’s tour of Sri Lanka in July-September after former coach Graham Ford quit last week.