New Sri Lanka cricket coach Chandika Hathurusingha pledged to get tough with the under-performing national team, including banning music in training, while demanding "full control" over selection, the Daily Mail reported today.
Asked about reports that players were admonished for listening to music in practice, Hathurusingha said after his first training session with the team on Thursday: "If they are interested in music they will have to go home."
Sports Minister Dayasiri Jayasekera said in June that many players were "too fat" and that none chosen to play a series against Zimbabwe had passed international fitness standards. A special diet was later imposed.
Hathurusingha, a former Sri Lanka batsman who quit as Bangladesh coach to help his home country, also signalled a tougher line with the government, which gets the final say in team affairs.
The chief coach is not an automatic member of the selectors' panel and Hathurusingha wants this changed -- even if it means a new sports law. "I need full control and responsibility to pick the playing eleven," Hathurusingha said.
"According to the sports law the coach can't get involved in selections. They are considering my request to be a selector while being the coach," he said.