Malinga in hot water over 'monkey' remark

Lasith Malinga (Getty)
Lasith Malinga (Getty)

Colombo - Lasith Malinga received a suspended one-year cricket ban after the fast bowler pleaded guilty to a charge of speaking to the media without permission, Sri Lanka's cricket board said on Tuesday.

The sanction is suspended for six months and Malinga will also be fined 50 percent of the match fee from his next one-day international, Sri Lanka Cricket said.

The charge against Malinga came from his response to criticism by Sri Lanka's sports minister over the team's fitness levels.

Sports Minister Dayasiri Jayasekara castigated players for allegedly being overweight soon after Sri Lanka failed to reach the semi-finals at the Champions Trophy earlier in June, with the team dropping several catches against Pakistan.

Malinga said players knew best about the game and likened the minister - who had suggested military training for the team - to a monkey occupying a parrot's nest.

According to BBC Sport, Malinga said: "This is like a monkey getting into a parrot's nest and talking about it."

Sri Lanka Cricket appointed a three-member disciplinary committee with Malinga pleading guilty on Tuesday to breaching his contract with the board by speaking to the media without permission.

A special executive committee meeting later on Tuesday considered the finding of the inquiry and announced the sentence. It means the bowler will be free to play in the home series against Zimbabwe starting on Friday.

Team officials earlier made a presentation to Jayasekara over the players' fitness programme, Sri Lanka cricket manager Asanka Gurusinha said.

Also on Tuesday, Sumathipala announced that fielding coach Nic Pothas will be interim head coach after the resignation of Graham Ford midway through his contract. Pothas will continue until the end of a home series against India starting next month.

Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe play five one-day internationals and a Test match.

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