Hyderabad: The Sri Lankan cricket team seems to be facing a bad spell. It lost the recent T20 series against England and a few members were accused of violating COVID-19 restrictions. This resulted in disgruntled fans launching a campaign on social media to shun the underperforming cricketers.
Following this, a photo of Kusal Janith Perera, the captain of the Sri Lankan cricket team, began circulating on social media with the claim that he lashed out against the fans during a recent press conference, purportedly in response to their criticism.
A quote allegedly attributed to Perera reads, "Degrading us on social media will not aid in achieving victories and will only crush us mentally, leading to more defeats. If you can't stop criticizing just stop watching matches."
The claim is false.
Perera made no such remarks during the press conference on 28 June 2021.
NewsMeter viewed the video of the press conference on YouTube and found that nowhere did Perera lash out at the fans. He made no comment about fans degrading the cricketers on social media or crushing the cricketers mentally. Neither did he ask them to stop watching matches if they couldn't stop criticizing.
Instead, he apologized to the fans on behalf of the team for losing against England and for violating the COVID- 19 rules. He said, "I apologize as a captain because with the issues that have emerged, we have to appreciate that our fans are still with us. I ask that you continue to support us in this manner in the future as well. We plan to correct our mistakes and restore our winning mentality as soon as possible."
Sri Lankan news outlet NewsWire also reported his apology and included the full video of the press conference.
It is clear that Sri Lanka's cricket captain did not lash out at fans during a press conference. Hence, the claim is false.