Sri Lanka XI
ESPNcricinfo picks the best Test teams of all time

The XI

Eleven to take on the world

The three best batsmen and one of the spinners were easy picks. What about the others?

Sa'adi Thawfeeq

April 1, 2010

Comments: 103 | Text size: A | A

Muttiah Muralitharan chats with Arjuna Ranatunga and Aravinda de Silva during a net session at Lord's, May 9, 2006
The class of 96: Murali, Ranatunga and Aravinda, part of the victorious World Cup campaign, are in the all-time XI © Getty Images

How dearly the national selectors would love to have a Cricinfo jury to help them pick the national teams, going by how straightforward the selection of Sri Lanka's all-time XI turned out to be.

The middle order of Kumar Sangakkara, Aravinda de Silva and Mahela Jayawardene, and champion spinner Muttiah Muralitharan, were all unanimous picks, with 10 votes apiece.

Left-arm spinner Ajit de Silva and legspinner DS de Silva were tied for the spot of Muralitharan's spin partner; but with Murali dominating from one end and Chaminda Vaas, whose nine votes justify his place as the spearhead of the bowling attack, from the other, you could assume the three other bowlers in the XI would have little to do.

Rumesh Ratnayake, with a slinging action in the Jeff Thomson mould and an ability to cause discomfort to batsmen, gets the nod ahead of a similar bowler, Lasith Malinga. Ashantha de Mel makes up the three-pronged pace attack ahead of Ravi Ratnayeke.

With former captain Arjuna Ranatunga taking up his customary position at No. 6, the batting looks quite a strong and attractive line-up. Which brings us to the question of the wicketkeeper. Having three seamers (with Vaas in the allrounder role) and two spinners means Sangakkara has to perform the duties behind the stumps. With the advent of Twenty20 cricket, the joy of wicketkeeping has largely been lost, with emphasis being laid on a batting wicketkeeper rather than a wicketkeeper-batsman. And so there is no place for excellent glovemen like Mahes Goonatilleke or Prasanna Jayawardene, whose lightning-fast reflexes have always been a joy to watch, whether standing up to a spinner or back to a fast bowler.

The XI

Marvan Atapattu
"He matured in his thirties into a top-class batsman. Technically he had no peer in Sri Lanka and his unbreakable concentration helped him to six double-hundreds. His off-side play was his strongest suit, and his skill against the slower bowlers was exquisite." Charlie Austin

Sanath Jayasuriya
"Brutality, venom and fury are words that have been attached to Jayasuriya's batting, yet they are not apt. His work always seemed cheerful… he has been underestimated. Nor has he been a mere smash-and-grab man. To the contrary he has been enough of a cricketer to collect steadily once the field had been pushed back; enough of a batsman to know that the chance to compile a big total does not come every day." Peter Roebuck

Kumar Sangakkara
"To be the skipper, a key batsman and wicketkeeper (when needed) and an articulate speaker on and off the field all rolled into one, he is an allrounder par excellence - a rara avis." Mahinda Wijesinghe

Aravinda de Silva
"Arguably the most innovative and brilliant batsman produced in Sri Lanka after the island attained Test status, though his final statistics do not reflect the awesome talent he possessed. He was an artist not an artisan." Mahinda Wijesinghe

Mahela Jayawardene
"Of all the batting heroes Sri Lanka has produced - the Sathasivams, the Aravindas and Jayasuriyas - Mahela seems to be the one destined to rewrite all the records... As a batsman he is blessed with every stroke imaginable. The defence, the drive, the signature flick off the leg and hip, the deft cut and pull. Mahela combines perfectly touch and power, which is why he is successful in all formats of the game, against both pace and spin." Kumar Sangakkara

Arjuna Ranatunga
"The captain who not only led Sri Lanka to a clean sweep of the 1996 World Cup but also inculcated and left behind a sense of pride in his team members and those who followed. A street fighter who stood for a cause, and by his men, which possibly affected his performances on the field." Mahinda Wijesinghe

Chaminda Vaas
"When you realise that pace is just one of the components of fast bowling, you start thinking about line, length, the conditions. For Chaminda Vaas that came early in his career. That's the reason he has had so much success... More than the wickets he has taken I am amazed at his fitness levels and the way he has changed his bowling action over the years." Javagal Srinath

Rumesh Ratnayake
"A fast-medium bowler during an era when Sri Lanka was undermanned, he troubled batsmen and was the spearhead in a couple of Sri Lankan triumphs, while supporting his main contribution with solid fielding and hard-hitting batting." Michael Roberts

Ashantha de Mel
"The most complete, most aggressive, best right-arm fast bowler Sri Lanka has produced since achieving Test status. He had the best action for any Sri Lankan fast bowler to date. Genuinely quick, and could also move the ball both ways. His aggression was controlled to genuinely intimidate. A hard-hitting, technically sound middle-order batsman who could be classified as an allrounder." Ranil Abeynaike

Muttiah Muralitharan
"Muttiah Muralitharan's greatness lies in the fact that even when batsmen read him, there is little they can do to keep him out. It is possible to say of him, as Albert Einstein did in another context, that generations to come will scarce believe that such a one as this walked upon this earth." Suresh Menon

Somachandra de Silva
"The best legspin/googly bowler produced by Sri Lanka since attaining Test status and their second best spinner after Muttiah Muralitharan. No other spinner barring Murali has been as accurate. Also had a sound technique and good temperament as a batsman, and a thoroughly professional approach to the game overall." Ranil Abeynaike

Cricinfo readers' XI
We invited readers to vote on the nominees in each segment. Here's who they picked.
Sanath Jayasuriya, Marvan Atapattu, Kumar Sangakkara, Aravinda de Silva, Mahela Jayawardene, Arjuna Ranatunga, Chaminda Vaas, Lasith Malinga, Rumesh Ratnayake, Muttiah Muralitharan, Ajantha Mendis.

RSS Feeds: Sa'adi Thawfeeq

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by   on (April 4, 2010, 23:54 GMT)

Coincidently when the All-time XI: Sri Lanka picked Sanga for the wicket keeping duties, the kings XI in IPL dropped Sanga from the Wicket Keeping duties. If the specialist keeper can bat well, then that is a bonus. Malinga was dropped by All-time XI: Sri Lanka when he is wearing the purple cap (Award to the bowler with highest number of wickets) in the IPL. In my opinion, Ashantha be replaced with Mahes (WK) and Rumesh be replaced with Malinga. Somachandra or Ajith, this is a toss of a coin, both will complement Murali. I still think Ajith and Murali will form a right arm and left arm combination just like Malinga and Vaas. 4 bowlers is Sri Lanka's successful formula. Each nation has their own formula of bowlers (WI 5 quick's, Aus 3 quick's and 1 spinner etc.). Santah/Aravinda can bowl. If we have 4 bowlers, this is less than 25 overs per day per bowler. With plenty of variety (Malinga left arm quick, Vaas right arm swing, Murali right are off spin, Ajith left arm orthodox spin).

Posted by ceyloncricket on (April 4, 2010, 9:54 GMT)

How did they leave out Ajit De Silva. He is top class

Posted by HLANGL on (April 4, 2010, 6:42 GMT)

How someone can discard the undisputed best batsman from Sri Lanka in pre-De Silva era (the era before Aravinda came into prominence I mean) is beyond me. True, the legendary Mahadevan Sathasivam wouldn't have played any tests, but is it his fault ? Can you keep this man out from all time SL XI ?. Forget about all others much hyped (but certainly not upto the level of hype) pre-test era players like Stanley Jayasinghe, Micheal Thissera, .... You may even forget the likes of Roy Dias, Duleep Mendis, ... who may have played a bit of test & ODI cricket, would have been clearly the better players we had during their times, YET no way the best the world had during their times. There may have been few older yet very decent ones in FC De Seram, CI Gunasekara, Clive Inman & Anura Tennakoon, but since this would (supposed to) be the all time best XI for SL, you may forget them too. But I'm not sure anyone can do the same for true legend S'sivam, to me the Steve Tikolo of then Ceylonese Cricket.

Posted by IanJF on (April 3, 2010, 13:46 GMT)

Dear "mykey_d" FYI This was my team in an earlier post, I was just trying to make a point clear which certainly you havent grasped.. 1.Roy Dias 2.Jayasuriya 3.Sangakkara 4.A.De silva 5.Mahela J 6.Duleep Mendis 7. Arjuna 8.Vass 9.R.Ratnayake 10.Muralitahran 11.D.S.De silva

Posted by mykey_d on (April 3, 2010, 9:51 GMT)

If you are posting your comments and are (at least) in your early 30s try not to romanticise the past. This is a best XI not a walk through the pages of history. The lures of yesteryear do not make up for mediocrity. IanJF, just stick to what you know, which clearly is not picking a cricket team nor making jokes.

Posted by waspsting on (April 2, 2010, 17:40 GMT)

1st off - the chemistry is wrong. Since Murali does so much of the bowling work, is having five bowlers justified? IMO, no. And since the rest of the bowling isn't too great (IOW - its a comparitively weak team to other all time teams) - its MUCH BETTER to go in with 6 batsmen. I'd have Sangakarra as a pure batsmen and add a P. Jayawardena as keeper. for bowling - three pacers and Murali, and who to back up Murali's spin? I'd go with part timers. Jayasuria, Aravinda and Dilshan can all be decent tweakers (don't know the other spinners nominated, but they all have poor records). In any case, IT DOESN'T MATTER much as Murali's the key. Finally, Ranatunga I disagree with. He scored 4 centuries in about a 100 tests - thats not good enough. Tillakartne was a much better player

Posted by NALINWIJ on (April 2, 2010, 13:47 GMT)

Using the selection formula of 5batsman,WK,3pacemen,2spinners I submitted a team that is the same as Crickinfo readers XI but not the team selected by jury. Interestingly some of the jurors picked only 4 bowlers. The selection process is flawed when selecting the BEST TEAM. The formula makes it difficult to pick a specialist WK as 6 batsmen are needed and there is no genuine allrounder. This necessitates selection of SANGA as a WKbatsman. Only solution was to use 3 pacemen, 1spinner and parttimers such as Sanath and Aravinda. Prasanna is a world class WK with batting average of 30 and Sanga bats better when he is not WK. Arjuna deserves his spot but Thilan could be substituted as he can bowl spin. Apart from Vaas and Murali there is no great bowler and DeMel and DS will be the bowlers unlikely to be picked in a future XI. MY revised team 1.Sanath 2.Marvan 3.Sanga 4.Aravinda 5.Mahela 6.Arjuna or Thilan 7.Prasanna [WK] 8.Vaas 9.Rumesh 10.Malinga 11.Murali 12.Mendis.

Posted by   on (April 2, 2010, 13:25 GMT)

@ sachintha81 - All i got to say about you is that cricket was not played this much intensively as well as professionally so My friend hate to say but you have to admit that you are in love with the good old days but the reality is that they are not good & probably may not make in to todays 11 in any case

Posted by CeaserNeo on (April 2, 2010, 13:08 GMT)

I doubt about Sanga as Keeper. He is great player but as Keeper he is worst. This is my personal feeling. But remember if he doesn't miss chance of stumping for Symond in SF of WC'03 know that.

Posted by Under-Arm-Aussie on (April 2, 2010, 9:57 GMT)

No matter what is argued on these pages the fact remains that this is a hugely gifted team. I personally believe Jayawardene could walk into any team of the past 10 years - including Australia's and India's. To my mind there is no question about Ranatunga being the best captain for Sri Lanka. He single-handedly brought strength of character and belief to the Sri Lankan nation - not just the team that won a world cup. He got under the noses of opposition teams who had previously regarded Sri Lanka and Sri Lankans as a soft touch. He may not be popular and he may not have the cricket brain of others around him but he could bat and he was a leader amongst men. I love the way the Sri Lanka team goes about its business. They must be the most respected and well liked teams in the game.

Posted by IanJF on (April 2, 2010, 9:37 GMT)

If you are posting your comments and you if you are not (at least) in your early 30s.. Then pls dont post "Rubbish" !! Have these people even seen the likes of Duleep Mendis, Ranjan Madugalle, Dr.H.I.K.Fernando, S.Wettimuny, Roy Dias.. Just stick to what you know people. Permit me - But I wont be surprised if some writers cant remember seeing Sanath Jayasuriya change the entire game in the mid-90s.. (possibly they were watching 'Care Bears' at the time ha ha..)

Posted by Ozcricketwriter on (April 2, 2010, 8:37 GMT)

I am shocked at the absence of Roy Dias. Perhaps worse though is that Somachandra de Silva rates a mention, plus of course de Mel. Why does Sri Lanka need 5 bowlers in a test team? Not once did they play 5 bowlers. Jayasuriya and Aravinda de Silva, not to mention Arjuna Ranatunga, can provide a backup bowling option if needed anyway. The reader's choice I think is 1,000 times better than the team by the experts.

Posted by Indike on (April 2, 2010, 7:45 GMT)

I believe that Mahela Jayawardene is a better captain than Arjuna Ranatunga. So either Arjuna Ranatunga or Hashan Tillekeratne can bat at no 6 position and play purely as batsman.

Posted by aavi242 on (April 2, 2010, 7:39 GMT)

hahahahahaa.....thats a sri lankan team u would have seen 5 years back...though I am exxagerating but still Sri-Lanka has produced only this much of talented cricketers?? blast from the past.... anyways its good but it cant beat any other Cricinfo's XI or today's top 4 teams in the world....

Posted by Nmiduna on (April 2, 2010, 7:32 GMT) seems to have a personal enmity or political prob against asantha de mel...i hardly know about the yesteryear crcricketers so i'll not comment about dont speak so low of our motherland..we've been the only team apart frm aus to won a world cup for the last 4 world cups..we were in 2007 finals 2003 semis..2009 t20 finals..we've won asia cup twice or thrice in a row..and so many other achievements as terms of big tournaments we are only second to my dear frnd, arjuna is a MUST in our all-time x1, he's nt only our best captain..but one of the pioneers that brought SL to a place where we can compete with best of the world..(which teams like bangladesh still have nt been able to achieve) HOW CAN ONE LEAVE OUT THEIR BEST CAPTAIN?? hw can you keep doubts about that mr. vajra?? there may be you can never call this's a joke..after all it's sri lankan experts who have chosen their own XI and it's a formidable outfit!!

Posted by ShashankP on (April 2, 2010, 7:09 GMT)

Hashan Tilakaratne has an average of 42.87 more than Jaya and Ranatunga. Ranatunga cannot be termed as a best captain. He was just plain lucky to have a good squad. Sanga is a better captain than him.

Posted by anoj5 on (April 2, 2010, 6:59 GMT)

@ Vajira.Rathnamudali on (April 02 2010, 04:56 AM GMT y the heck ar u playing Mahesh Gunatilake whn Sanga can keep???

Posted by KaushikVaidya on (April 2, 2010, 6:16 GMT)

"generations to come will scarce believe that such a one as this walked upon this earth." Einstein said that about Gandhi didn't he? On one hand that line is apt for Murali because he too provokes fear without hurting his opponents. On the other, someone like Bedi would argue that Murali is 'a blind man being allowed to fly a plane'. While his achievements will remain great, I guess Murali's name will always carry the tag of doubt about whether he would have been as menacing without a bent arm.

Posted by chandau on (April 2, 2010, 6:02 GMT)

Guyz, this is the best TEST team of all time so peeps like Tennakoon, Kehelgamuwa, Sathasivam,, are not in. I think we have given over a 110 caps since 1982. Of this around 15 were banned after 4/5 matches but ironically some of the great talents were among them: Mahesh Gunathillake, Ajith De Silva, Lalith Kaluperuma, Anura Ranasinghe, Tony Opatha, Going through the comments maybe crickinfo needs to clarify selection criteria: whether it is class or records. Marvan for example was class and had a good record. Vass and Murali have exceptional records. Dias on the other hand was class but an average record. SO were Ravi & Rumesh Rathnayake. Cant say much about DS 'cos he played in England more than here but Ajit was all class. Mahesh has no completion in the 'keeing arena before or after test status. Arjuna was a super captain but so was Mike Tissera. Sanath and Aravinda are world class but for me Mahela still needs to prove ability in Auzzy and SA. cheers

Posted by VajiraR on (April 2, 2010, 4:56 GMT)

The biggest joke heard for a long time. It seems that readers are more educated and updated than the so called experts. That's why we never managed to become the best in the world. We always had 1 or 2 weak links in the team. I repeat, ever since de Mel took over, SL never played the best eleven. This team has a similarity of his choice. The best eleven could have been: Sanath, Mawan, Roy, Kumar, Aravinda, Mahela, Mahesh (w/k), Vass, DS, Malinga & Murali.Regret for not including Arjuna even though he is considered as the most shrewd captain. If he is in, then we have to leave out either Kumar or Mahela. If we go for a 3rd seamer (depending on prevailing conditions), then either one has to sit out. Ravi can be a better option than Rumesh, even though Rumesh is a better bowler, because of Ravi's batting abilities. It seems that most of the readers represent the yonger generation, who have not seen the likes of Roy, Anura Tennakoon, Duleep, Mahesh, Michael, Bernard, etc.

Posted by   on (April 2, 2010, 4:51 GMT)

I highly agree with Charlie Austin :))

Posted by SLfan on (April 2, 2010, 4:40 GMT)

Some ppl questioning specifically regarding the inclusion of Atapattu, due to his overall test avg of less than 40 (exactly it's 39.02). If we just consider the averages, then anyone can question the inclusion of Jayasuriya also (who's avg is 40.07). I don't have any question regarding the inclusion of any of these 2, since they are the 2 openers who did most of the work, to achieve what we had achieved in test arena. For those who still have doubts about the inclusion of Atapattu, note that he's a 1 out of 8 players who had scored six or more double centuries. Out of those 8, 3 are Sri Lankans; Marvan, Sanga & Mahela who each had scored 6 double centuries!

Posted by   on (April 2, 2010, 4:17 GMT)

My disagreements with the XI: Rumesh, Ranatunga, Atapattu out, Ravi Ratnayke, Dilshan and Dias/Samaraweera in. Ravi was a beautiful swing bowler who matched the Pakistani greats in Pakistan and a handy solid bat too. Dilshan's batting displays an ingenuity unmatched by most in cricket history. Roy Dias performed much better than his contemporaries and against good teams. Samaraweera has done enough lately to be a contender and his numbers are better than Ranatunga's and Attapatu's. Ranatunga is only in as a captain, a responsibility that others can perform with reasonable competence.

Posted by   on (April 2, 2010, 2:55 GMT)

Funny to think that even Sri Lanka have an all time XI. I was expecting Roy Dias but no mention of him. Atapattu's inclusion is questionable.

Posted by   on (April 2, 2010, 2:40 GMT)

well i feel selectors don't want to go against the administrators who are in today.

Totally disaggree with selection of Asantha de mel (who is the selection commitee chairman ) & somachandra de silva ( cricket boad president ) in ahead of Lasith Malinga ( who is the most profilic bowler sri lanka has produed after Murali ) & Ajantha Mendis. ( He is a one who made the history & has lot of room to go even pass Murali ). Exclusion of Thilan & Dilhan made a lot confusion but thebatsman are in are best to be selected in any time 11. Arjuna should be the Captain here for his Charisma. But it is really nice to see redaers have selected the same 11 in my mind who were not wanted to pleased the administrators :). Why not select a match with particpation of these all as those all 11 maximum in the age limit of 60 by now.

Posted by mykey_d on (April 2, 2010, 2:37 GMT)

Re: Roy Dias in place of Jayawardene. What a load of rubbish! Jayawardene averages 54 odd with 27 centuries. Clearly one of, if not, SL's strongest ever batsmen. Dias, like many SL batsmen, was wonderful to watch but generally underperformed. Lots of style not enough substance. I could see Dias come in for Ranatunga but certainly not Jayawardene.

Posted by   on (April 2, 2010, 1:13 GMT)

Which format of the game???????

Attapattu would assume Tests..

Will it remain same for one dayers..

Posted by peterhrt on (April 2, 2010, 0:48 GMT)

The selectors had a hard job with no genuine all-rounder available (apart from wicket-keeper Sangakkara) and only two bowlers proven at the highest level. The worry is that the first-class records of the three other bowlers chosen do not inspire confidence either. Anurasiri has received few supporting comments but he did take over four hundred first-class wickets at nineteen apiece and had excellent control. A year ago the case for Mendis would have been stronger but his mystery has gone. Realistically an all-time Sri Lankan team needs to include pre-Test bowlers with good first-class records. Pieris's swing and Kehelgamuwa's pace would markedly improve the attack. So would Kelaart's left-arm spin though he was too early to play first-class cricket. Sathavisam is probably the only batsman of the old Ceylon who would force his way past the moderns. With Atapattu averaging forty only in Tests against England, Bangladesh and Zimbabwe, much will depend on four of the top five.

Posted by mk49_van on (April 2, 2010, 0:26 GMT)

Attapattu - give me a break. An average of less than 40 - for someone played primarily in the late 90s and 2000s is not the sign of an "all time great". and what of Mahela? 60+ and home and >20 less than that away (remove the sub-continent and it looks worse). Come on, Lanka you can do better that Marvan and Mahela.

Posted by Rajesh. on (April 1, 2010, 21:53 GMT)

Not many would have heard of Mahesh Gunatilake, but he was considered one of the best wicket-keepers of his time........

Posted by long_handle9 on (April 1, 2010, 20:31 GMT)

decent--but Roy Dias, Hashan Tillakaratne, and to an extent Malinga & Mendis (haven't played that much) were close runners-up

Posted by   on (April 1, 2010, 19:28 GMT)

Obviously its a april fools joke?

Posted by HasanMobeen on (April 1, 2010, 19:13 GMT)

I m not Sri Lankan..But I seriously doubt this All time XI's strength... What I feel is that this team shud have included few players from the Sri Lankan team which made them one of the best teams in the world rather than players like De Mel or Retniyke who were never a world class bowler when they were minnows... Sangakarra shud had been included as batsman and Ramesh Kaluwitharana shud be the keaper...

And how can they ignore Ajantha Mendis and Dilshan... Dilshan is amongst those players who changed the batting style of test cricket.. And Mendis.... I cant see any justification of Somachandra de Silva over Mendis... Rest of the team is fine according to me...

Posted by banglafan on (April 1, 2010, 17:34 GMT)

I would make two changes : Roy Dias in place of Jayawardene / Ranatunga and Tennekoon to be the captain and replace Somachandra, becoz his stature as captain is impeccable and Jayasuria is already the 5th bowler. If SDSilva has to play, one of Rumesh or de Mel can be dropped/

Posted by kotakade on (April 1, 2010, 17:08 GMT)

One major question I have is why isn't Mahesh Gunatilake in the squad? There are plenty of batsmen in this lineup, so either Sangakkara or Jayawardena need to be left out.

I would love to see Mahesh keep to Murali. The wicket keeper's position is the most important in the field and you have to have the best man for the job!

One can argue about the inclusion of Attapattu and De Mel, but I think they were very tough competitors and ultimately deserve a spot in the all time XI.

Posted by Indike on (April 1, 2010, 15:53 GMT)

Roshan Mahanama with his sheer brilliant technique should replace Sanath Jayasuriya. Technically Sanath is awful for test cricket. Sanath is just a pinch hitter Ranatunga used, only good for ODIs.

Posted by dpathak on (April 1, 2010, 15:49 GMT)

Too many bowlers and Sanga's batting could be affected by keeping wicket also! Also, Jayasuriya and Aravinda can bowl. So, I would keep a bowler out and bring a specialist wicketkeeper in. De Mel could serve as an allrounder so I would keep S De Silva as 12th man - we can use him when playing on slow pitches. Tilakratne is an exciting option for a WK but I would go for a specialist WK since this is ALL-TIME XI and not just a Couple-of-series XI. In my opinion, Prasanna J'wrdene would edge out Kalu because of his impeccable work behind stumps and a calm mind in front of the stumps. Cheers!!

Posted by Praveena on (April 1, 2010, 15:48 GMT)

hey cricinfor , i did post a comment but u didnt publish yet. plzzz let me know.

Posted by rson on (April 1, 2010, 15:36 GMT)

Surprising to see virtually no support for Hashan Tillekeratne.Certainly a far superrior batsman to Ranatunga.Ranatunga's leadership qualities are unquestioned but neither were those of Mike Brearley and I don't think anyone would have suggested him for an England All-time XI. The bowling attack,except for Muralitharan and Chaminda Vaas,has no one who screams to be included,and the others selected would tend to be bowlers who can bat fairly well.

Posted by Praveena on (April 1, 2010, 14:51 GMT)

mmmm good selection except Arjuna Ranatunga. Arjuna hasn't enough proven record to include this all time test eleven as a batsman. I think Roy Dias should be the better choice than Arjuna. Other thing is Srilanka has lack of good world class fast bowlers like caliber of Marshall, Pollock, Lille, Kapil, Imran, McGrath. Only we have Vaasy. he was the only SL fast baller of reached that class. But all time selectors cant find good ballers than Rumesh and Mel. Ajith de Silva is a good competitor to D.S. De Silva. I think Mahela . J. should hold the Skipper,s role. My All Time Test eleven - Sanath/ Sidath , Marwan , Roy. D, Aravinda, Mahela - C, Sangakkara, Prasanna J- W.K, Vaas, Romesh.R, D.S. De Silva/ Ajith De Silva,M. Murali. 12th Man- R.Mahanama, Dhilshan,

Posted by asadkum on (April 1, 2010, 14:05 GMT)

Mohammad Asad from USA. Out of so many talented's really hard to pick all time XI. I guess they did a good job - a well balanced team. Roshan Mahamana may be considered as a great fielder and a good batsman who played against all time world class pace attack of WI. Asad from USA.

Posted by on (April 1, 2010, 14:03 GMT)

Great job by cricinfo. thanks. For me Roy dias and Ravirathnayake whould have been given a chance over Arjuna and De mel.of course Arjuna is the greatest captain SL ever produse but not the great batsmen.we are selecting here all time SL XI so the technicein like Roy dias should be in the team. for a captaincy Mahela is ok I dont think Ajantha has done enogh to be in all SL XI. Ajantha mendis is aordinary playes now he has to learn more. most readers try to compare statistics about DS silva and De Mel and Rumesh but they have forgetton that at that time SL does not have so many matches as current and we have to compare their statistics with same time internationay players. Ravirathnayake is the best all rounder we had ever.

Posted by Migara on (April 1, 2010, 13:58 GMT)

Picking Somachandra Silva was a mistake. I'd take Ravi Ratnayake over him any day. Sanga cannot be a keeper batsman. My XI would be

Jayasuriya, Atapattu, Sangakkara, de Silva, Jayawardane, Ranatunga (c), Tillekaratne (wk), Ravi Ratnayake, Chaminda Vaas, Rumesh Ratnayake and Murali.

Although Rumesh and Ravi averages 30+, they were lot better than that. If they had fitness of current SL fastmen, would have averaged 27 - 32 with the ball. When on song, both Ratnayakes were deadlier than Vaas

Posted by vajira12 on (April 1, 2010, 13:46 GMT)

No way one can rationalize DS De Silva's place in this team. I would rather selected Ajith De Silva or even Rangana Herath to replace him. De Mel is on par or probably low level compared to Malinga. His bowling acton was better than any. But that's not a condition to select a bowler to aworld XI. Not many bowlers would entertain tackling this battting line up.

Posted by Nookie_lk on (April 1, 2010, 13:37 GMT)

IMO, Marvan, Arjuna and De Mel should be out. In comes B Warnapura, Gurusingha and Malinga.

Posted by criczed on (April 1, 2010, 13:20 GMT)

I agree on most of the players mentioned here but I still think Sangakkara should not be the keeper, then again Prasana has been playing only one form of the me he is best keeper that SL has produced so far...Also it is surprising that Sidath Wethamuni is no in this line up but then again I would imagine that Atapattu took his place which is fare enough. Dilshan has been performing well during the last couple of players but I guess he hasn't done enough to put his name on this XI yet. Cricinfo good job on selecting the All time SL XI !!!

Posted by CricketPissek on (April 1, 2010, 12:42 GMT)

decent team. my only change would be to drop one of the fast bowlers (Ratnayake or De Mel) and have a specialist keeper instead. Either Mahes or Prasanna.

Posted by   on (April 1, 2010, 12:35 GMT)

i dnt think saga deserves to be the keeper, plus no asantha de mel.

Posted by Shovo_Kalmar on (April 1, 2010, 12:31 GMT)

Arjuna RanaTungga, the all time superb cricket player to be idol.

Posted by honeyb on (April 1, 2010, 11:56 GMT)

I can't believe some ppl are suggesting players like Mahanama and Gurusinghe. They did great service to get a struggling team to be a competitive international outfit they are now but look at their records and there can be no reason for their inclusion in an all time X1. Mahanama ended up with an average of less than 30 in both forms of the game and only 4 test hundreds having played for nearly 15 years. He was far more talented than that return but players are judged on their records not what they could have been. I'd have Mahanama as a 12th man because if anything else he was world class as a fielder!

Posted by RomanNoseJob on (April 1, 2010, 11:50 GMT)

"How dearly the national selectors would love to have a Cricinfo jury to help them pick the national teams" - What a joke, I am tired of people selecting Sri Lankan sides with Sangakkara as a wicketkeeper, he is a good keeper but Sri Lanka have produced a good pedigree of silky keepers and Sangakkara is behind a couple of them. His average is good but we're talking Matt Prior good, not Sanga's standards, he blossomed as a great batsman after giving up the gloves. It's simply not taking into account the reality of his performances by playing him as a keeper and expecting him to be as good with the bat as he now is.

Posted by Sach.S on (April 1, 2010, 11:49 GMT)

@Dilruwan Madubashitha Maybe you shouldn't talk about the thing you don't know. De Mel maybe an ass when it comes to administration, but he was a damn good fast bowler in his time. So was DS - the likes of Mendis seems to be one hit wonders but in his prime DS constantly troubled his opponents. Those guys were unlucky not to play in an era like today when they get a lot of chances. DS is probably the best Sri Lankan spinner (other than Murali of course) of recent times.

Posted by NeilMcAdmRoberts on (April 1, 2010, 11:45 GMT)

That's a bloody good batting line up. Not sure about Marvin. A Good player but not in the league of the others.

Posted by FIASNAHK on (April 1, 2010, 11:31 GMT)

Everything i agree with except for the the inclusion of arjuna and three of the bowlers. Look at the records of De Mel and Rathnayake, although rathnayake probably deserves the place due to lack of greats. Their records are worse than most first class bowlers records. And why pick arjuna, who would let down the team in the face of great all-time bowlers, when hashan tillakatne or dilshan or even samaraweera would be a better choice. I would have taken malinga anyday over de mell. And whats the point of having a leggie who cant take wickets, rather get a medium pacer in there.

Posted by deepaksam on (April 1, 2010, 11:10 GMT)

No Roy Dias? Its like droppin our GR Vishvanath!

Posted by SLfan on (April 1, 2010, 10:58 GMT)

I can't understand that how a player like Ashantha de Mel has been included in this list. It is ok that if this is the Readers' List. But, surprisingly this is the Jury's list ! With compare to other great players in this list, Ashantha de Mel was a player, who has a very ordinary performance level. According to Mr.Ranil Abeynaike, they have selected de Mel as an allrounder.If there is a real need of an allrounder, Jury could have easily selected Ravi Ratnayeke, who has performed better than de Mel in both aspects (batting & bowling). Ravi had played 22 matches & had taken 56 wickets with a batting avg of 25.21. De Mel had played 17 matches & had taken 59 wickets with a batting avg of 14.17. So, I'm really greatful if any Jury member can explain this !!

Posted by bizman on (April 1, 2010, 10:57 GMT)

I agree with IanJF. Roy dias and Duleep medis have to be part of the team. They were what gavaskar and Vishwanath are to India.

Posted by TheExpat on (April 1, 2010, 10:38 GMT)

The batting, 1 to 6, is exactly as I would have picked - a formidable line-up, good balance of left- and right-handers, and of aggression and caution. The bowling (apart from the obvious picks Vaas and Murali) looks pretty ordinary. The side's strength is clearly batting, so playing to its strengths, it should bat deeper and seek to draw a proportion of matches. An allrounder at 7 - Samaraweera is the obvious choice (Mathews not yet proven enough). Vaas at 8 not 7. Then de Mel, Murali, Malinga. Apologies to D.S. de Silva, but Murali is enough spin if backed up by Samaraweera, Jayasuriya and Aravinda. This side has plenty of bowling options (albeit some ordinary ones), so Malinga can be held back for short, sharp spells. The only remaining question is who captains - probably Ranatunga, in recognition of the 1996 World Cup, though any of the top 6 could do the job.

Posted by bappabadmash on (April 1, 2010, 10:04 GMT)

Roshan Mahanama and Gurusinghe are missing. Probably playing against Marshall,Garner,Holding & walsh is considered to be the same as playing against current bunch of fast bowlers who get beaten everywhere.If you acknowledge Rumesh Ratnayake (genunine pace bowler giving trouble to even GG,Hayens,Riachrds & his son) then think of these two player.

Posted by SAUMYAALOYSIUS on (April 1, 2010, 9:49 GMT)

Arjuna, Aravinda, Sanat, Mahela, Vass and Murali ought to be in the side and the rest should be opted in a way the six players are benefitted because they are the pillars of the game.

Posted by AJ_Tiger86 on (April 1, 2010, 9:35 GMT)

Where is Dilshan? He deserves to be in there.

Posted by Mahiru on (April 1, 2010, 9:28 GMT)

considering its a 6/5 combination, the readers xi is pathetic coz the batting lacks depth..and the jury's xi,, i believe they hav included D.S. De Silva and Ashantha De Mel expecting some favours from Sri Lanka Cricket Board.. When you hav MURALI and two good part time spinners in Aravinda and Sanath, why do we need a second spinner(DS) who is not atleast an allrouder who can handle the bat?? and Lasith Malinga(91 wickets) has done far more better dan Ashantha De mel.. just look at the statistics..and Even Ravi Ratnayake deserves a place ahead of Ashantha and Rumesh coz Ravi was a good capable batsman.. so considering its a 6/5 combination il pick Ravi and Malinga ahead of Ashantha and Rumesh.. and i also hav a doubt wether Sanga should Bat at no.3 if he Keeps wickets..i guess maybe he should go to no.5 and mahela bats at no.3..

Posted by Drew2 on (April 1, 2010, 8:46 GMT)

Of the bowlers only Murali and Vaas are great bowlers. The rest have ordinary test bowling records. The batting though is awesome....matches anything that India and Pakistan can put up.

Posted by Cricinfo Editorial on (April 1, 2010, 8:45 GMT)

The omission in the readers' XI has been corrected. There are 11 players in it now.

Posted by IanJF on (April 1, 2010, 8:36 GMT)

Not balanced !! 6/5 Combination is a joke and Vass cannot bat 5 down in an SL All time XI... **Re-shuffled list** 1.Roy Dias 2.Jayasuriya 3.Sangakkara 4.A.De silva 5.Mahela J 6.Duleep Mendis 7. Arjuna 8.Vass 9.R.Ratnayake 10.Muralitahran 11.D.S.De silva - I dont think any Sri Lankan will disagree to this legendary team...

Posted by kdcricket on (April 1, 2010, 8:16 GMT)

I feel, Lasith Malinga should be the new ball partner of Vaas. He remains the only bowler to claim 4 wickets in 4 balls and the quickets Sril Lanka have produced(when fit). I have not seen D S de Silva bowl, yet I feel Rangana Herath is good enough to get into the team(as a left armer is somewhat similar to a leggie). If this list would have been made a year later, we might have been forced to include Angelo Matthews instead of Rumesh Ratnayake

Posted by MFNadeem on (April 1, 2010, 7:53 GMT)

Asantha de mel should be replaced by Malinga. And Somachandra could easily be replaced by Mendis. Look at the records. Last but not the least, if we set aside the achievements as a captain, then Dilshan is much better than Arjuna. :)

Posted by SPykey on (April 1, 2010, 7:47 GMT)

I remember Pakistan reaching their 100 in almost 30 overs in the 92 final at the MCC and then going on to make 250+ at the end of 50. All games used to be like that back then - slow at the start, gaining pace after the stalwarts had settled in. If any one introduced hard hitting in the first 15, it has to be Mark Greatbatch from NZ and Romesh Kaluwidharna from Sri Lanka. The latter did that along with Sanath, who has been deservedly included here, but in my personal list, i wouldn't ever not accredit Romesh for how he started that revolution that added spice to the game!

Posted by   on (April 1, 2010, 7:39 GMT)

What happen to MAHANAMA and to Gurushinghe???

Posted by jinath on (April 1, 2010, 7:17 GMT)

there are 8 players in this match from the above 11

Posted by HLANGL on (April 1, 2010, 7:15 GMT)

This kind of a selection could have been done by a very ORDINARY cricket fan, certainly not for someone having any depth in knowledge. This is certainly like picking every Tommy, Dicky, etc. you have seen & sometimes payed with in your day. No guesses for the places for the 5; Sanath Jayasuriya, Aravinda De Silva, S'kara as batsmen & M'tharan & Vass as bowlers. I'd pick Marven as well, mainly because he'd be the partner to complement Jayasuriya. But rest of the selection is pathetic, you wouldn't place these good but NO WAY great players into any serious test XI, let alone in an all-time XI. Even Romesh Rathnayake may be a hard cut. Not sure how you can include the likes of Arjuna, De Mell who're having very ordinary international records in an all-time XI. Even Mahela doesn't have the sheer quality to back his statistics, one needs to understand how influential the runs made by him were. D.S De Silva may be a good enough choice purely in the absense of a great leggie from SL to-date.

Posted by manasvi_lingam on (April 1, 2010, 7:07 GMT)

Malinga ought to have been there in the Critics List. I have no idea why Mendis is there in the reader's List. He had just one good series against India.

Posted by Theena on (April 1, 2010, 7:01 GMT)

Sorry, no. I am going to be pigheaded and say the makeup of this XI was flawed.

Sanga at 3 while he performs wicket-keeping duties is just asking too much - compare his batting averages as a keeper and as a pure bat to realize what a huge difference it made in his career so far. Why would you try to change that?

That doesn't even begin to take into account how stuffing the best three Sri Lankan batsmen into the top order one after the other is inevitably going to devalue one player out of the three: Jayawardene at 5 - Seriously? Seems like an utter waste of pure batting talent to me.

Posted by Ajay42 on (April 1, 2010, 6:50 GMT)

I think no side would be complete without Roy Dias, the most artistic batsman SL has produced and Anura Tennekoon. SL might not have attained Test status during his time but I remember vividly his exploits on radio commentary.

Posted by krishna_j on (April 1, 2010, 6:47 GMT)

I cannot think of a Sri Lankan all time XI without the following :

SIDDATH WETTIMUNY for Marvan - VERY SOLID OPENING BAT - left the scene prematurely due to poor handling of his one day aspirations

ANURA TENNEKOON - champion in the 70's albeit with some lenient home umpiring (saw him bat in india in (1975) - possibly a 12th man

ROY DIAS - FIRST CHOICE IN ANY SL TEAM (Saw him in 1975 , 1982 and 1986 - easily the most pleasing and consistent bat - still cant forget his last international innings in the 87 world cup against england ) for De Mel

will drop De Mel - overratated

Posted by   on (April 1, 2010, 6:38 GMT)

How did they miss out legends like Dulip Mendis, Mahanama in the XI sqad??

Posted by howizzat on (April 1, 2010, 6:35 GMT)

With genuine fast bowling in Asanta and Vaas, Classy above par Spin in Murali and genuine part timers in Rantunga, Aravida and Sanat, 5th bowler is definitely a luxury. Instead, one of the best Number 7 batsman in the world in tests Hashan Tilakaratne or one down Roy Dias should have been there in this Srilankan all time eleven.

Posted by   on (April 1, 2010, 6:23 GMT)

My team is bit different than jury selected team. Definitely Mahesh Goonatilake or Prasanna Jayawardena would include in the team as a specialist wk. MG would be the best choice. Asantha could go out. So my IX is.. Marvan, Sanath , Kumar, Aravinda, Mahela, Arjuna, Mahesh, Vaas, Rumesh, D.S, Murali

Posted by NISH67 on (April 1, 2010, 5:58 GMT)

A fairly balance team but I would have Roy Dias in there and limit the bowling attack to 4 - 2 seamers - Vaas and Rumesh and 2 spinners - Murali and D.S . Arjuna in his prime was a useful change up seam bowler and both Jayasuriya and Aravinda could bowl competently - The team would be - Marvan , Sanath , Roy , Aravinda , Mahela , Kumar ,Arjuna , Vaas , D.S , Rumesh , Murali . Both Tillekaratne and Gurusinghe miss out .

Posted by chandau on (April 1, 2010, 5:57 GMT)

LOL only 10 in readrs' team. Typical Sri Lankan selection.

This means Sanga keeps. Bad choice when MG is the best there has been since test status. De Mel and D S De Silva again 2 bad choices considering Ravi Rathnayake and Ajith De Silva. Funny reading the comments of Ranil Abeynaike on those two. lol It seems the selection panel had decided to discard all the REBELS, just like the selectors and administration did all those years ago and drag Sri Lanka cricket back. In a 6/5 team Arjuna will lose his place to Mahela. Then the batting order would be Marvan , Sanath , Kumar , Aravinda , Mahela , Mahesh Gunatillake (WK) , Ravi Rathnayake , Vass , Rumesh Rathnayake , Ajith De Silva , Murali. In a 7/4 team (especially for the subcontinent) Arjuna will come in place of Ravi R. Remember in his younger days Arjuna did bowl a heavy ball so there will be 3 seamers and 4 spinners (with Sanath & Ari).

Posted by Number1CricketFan on (April 1, 2010, 5:56 GMT)

Where is Mahanama and Dilshan? Dilshan ahead of Marvan?

Posted by winlanka on (April 1, 2010, 5:49 GMT)

Hi, Why ? Readers select only 10, i think Gurusinghe miss this list and D.S, Asantha may not in SL xi,Anura

Posted by vijN on (April 1, 2010, 5:44 GMT)

Is this a joke. DeMel has a First Class bowling average of about 38. And the leg spinner S.De silva was mediocre. I think the current SL team have some better pacers than the one listed here.

Posted by Rosh1 on (April 1, 2010, 5:36 GMT)

My team would be Sanath, Marvan, Kumar, Aravinda, Mahela (c), Roy, Ravi, Chaminda, Rumesh, Murali and Ajantha. Sorry but I do not agree with the jury on Arjuna, Asantha and DS. Arjuna cannot be in the team purely coz of his captaincy as his test career as a batsman was quite mediocre. So I replaced him with Roy Dias who had a great record and could have been better if SL obtained test status if he was young like Arjuna at that time. Asantha was good but Ravi was equally a good bowler but a better batsman who even opened innings. DS spun himself more than the ball. Ajantha for destrying a strong Indian batting line up is far superior compared to DS whole career.

Posted by fadooo on (April 1, 2010, 5:32 GMT)

Other than Vaas and Murali, it seems like an extremely mediocre bowling attack. Looking at the record for the other three bowlers selected I doubt if any of them could even be selected in the Sri Lankan team today. Mendis has a better record than the legspinner selected. And Malinga has more wickets, lower average and better strike rate than both the fast bowlers selected. How can you have fast bowlers with averages of 35+ and strike rates of 60+ in an all time world XI. They wouldn't even make it to the playing XI of a major test playing nation today. It seems to be a selection based on romanticism of the old times. It would have been fair to select more current players given that Sri Lankan has only over the past decade or two become a major and competitive test playing nation. The batting on the other hand is formidable.

Posted by KelvinLTR on (April 1, 2010, 5:21 GMT)

yeah... great names.. great game.. great country.... best of best

Posted by Charindra on (April 1, 2010, 5:21 GMT)

There's a clear post test status era bias here, but it would be impossible to compare across generations. Too bad SL got test status only in 1982. So many talented cricketers never got a chance to show their colours at the highest level. The only change I would make is to drop Arjuna and include Roy Dias. Mahela would be captain and therefore Arjuna adds little value without his captaincy. He's still one of my favourite SL cricketers though.

Posted by   on (April 1, 2010, 5:21 GMT)

MAlinga is better than Mendis....

Posted by redneck on (April 1, 2010, 5:20 GMT)

in regards to murali, future generations are more likely to scratch their heads and wonder how such an obvious chucker was allowed to play for long enough to take the the test leading wicket takers mantle!!! still you have to congratulate sri lankan cricket going from test new commers to world cup winners within 20 years!!! you only have to look at the toils of the zimbabwe and bangledesh teams to recognise what a feat that really is!!!

Posted by   on (April 1, 2010, 5:18 GMT)

Obviously a fine team, but the batting line-up is flawed. I don't think Chaminda was a number 7 batsman. For a more balanced team Rav Ratnayake should have been included.

Posted by   on (April 1, 2010, 5:07 GMT)

lovely batting line-up....probably one of cricinfo eleven's which wont court so much controversy....if this team is going to play one day and t20's den it shuld be a compulsion to have lasith malinga in the team....odawise fabulour team should be able to re stake the glory day of 96 !!!! good job cricinfo

Posted by _NEUTRAL_Fan_ on (April 1, 2010, 4:40 GMT)

Overall, a very good test XI despite their short history. Dilshan might feel a little hard done by but he hasn''t always been as good as he is now. + The quote:"greatness lies in the fact that even when batsmen read him, there is little they can do to keep him out". Perfect quote! That to me is a hallmark of brilliance that we see with guys like Murali, Warne, Ambrose, Mc Grath, Waqar and more recently, Steyn and Swann. You know its coming, you see it coming and still get out!

Posted by sumithocs on (April 1, 2010, 4:30 GMT)

Sooo what about Hashan Thilakaratne. Doesn't he deserve a place in here??

Posted by   on (April 1, 2010, 4:25 GMT)

There are only ten in the readers XI?

Posted by Adnan_80 on (April 1, 2010, 4:24 GMT)

I think Roshan Mahanama should also be there.

Posted by BillyCC on (April 1, 2010, 4:22 GMT)

With the right pitch and conditions, that team could cause a few problems and beat other World XIs quite convincingly. I was surprised by how strong the batting order was. For mine, this team would struggle to beat the Australian and Indian XI because those team also had excellent spin options, but it could definitely take on the England and South African All Time XI with no issues given the right conditions.

Posted by Vivek.Bhandari on (April 1, 2010, 4:06 GMT)

seems a well-balanced team...n it's gud that the jury didnt forget the players from the older generation...the readers' pick is more contemporary...

Posted by DwightR on (April 1, 2010, 3:58 GMT)

looks like a very dangerous picks were almost dead-on in line with the jury, however i had malinga in place of ratnayke & mendis for de silva, either way the core is the same..Lanka Vey! here's to dilshan, malinga, mendis, mathews and kulu making the all time XI in the next decade!

Posted by Sach.S on (April 1, 2010, 3:57 GMT)

There are only 10 players in readers' picks.

Posted by dishands on (April 1, 2010, 3:55 GMT)

The readers XI & cricinfo jury XI are almost same. only difference is Malinga & Mendis have been chosen by the readers who are following them in 2000's because they doesnt know about the value the 80's bowlers had. Great teams!!!!

Posted by dnx100 on (April 1, 2010, 3:40 GMT)

where's Russell Arnold!????

Posted by   on (April 1, 2010, 3:39 GMT)

Hmmm. No Roy Dias.. Interesting... We need to find a way to have him in this elevan.. He was second best to Mahela if not best...

Posted by   on (April 1, 2010, 3:24 GMT)

I really dont think this Jury's eleven is quite right because some of these people are here just becase they are in the administration right now so I bet Ravi Rathnayaka is better than Ashantha de Mel & Somachandra de Silva is nothing compared to even a non regular spinner like Sanath Jayasuriya

Comments have now been closed for this article

Email Feedback Print
Sa'adi ThawfeeqClose

Sri Lanka Jury

Ranil Abeynaike
Former left-arm spinner and middle-order batsman. Captained Sri Lanka A against Australia in 1983. Former curator at the SSC in Colombo and national curator and school coach. Currently a commentator.
XI: Jayasuriya, Atapattu, Sangakkara, Jayawardene, Aravinda de Silva, Ranatunga, Somachandra de Silva, de Mel, Vaas, Rumesh Ratnayake, Muralitharan
Russel Arnold
Russel Arnold
Played 44 Tests and 180 ODIs for Sri Lanka between 1997 and 2007 as an opener, lower middle-order batsman and offbreak bowler. Now a commentator and columnist.
XI: Atapattu, Jayasuriya, Dias, Sangakkara, Aravinda De Silva, Jayawardene, Ranatunga, Vaas, Rumesh Ratnayake, Muralitharan, Malinga
Ranjit Fernando
Ranjit Fernando
Played ODIs for Sri Lanka in the 1975 World Cup. After retirement, has served as an administrator, national coach, selector and manager. Currently a commentator.
XI: Jayasuriya, Atapattu, Dias, Aravinda De Silva, Jayawardene, Sangakkara, Ranatunga, Vaas, Somachandra de Silva, Rumesh Ratnayake, Muralitharan
Ranjan Madugalle
Ranjan Madugalle
Played 21 Tests (in two of which he captained) and 63 ODIs between 1979 and 1988. Was appointed an ICC match referee in 1993, and in 2001 was appointed the first chief referee.
XI: Jayasuriya, Atapattu, Dias, Aravinda De Silva, Jayawardene, Sangakkara, Ravi Ratnayeke, Somachandra de Silva, Vaas, Rumesh Ratnayake, Muralitharan
Palitha Perera
Palitha Perera
Journalist and cricket commentator since 1963; widely held to be Sri Lanka's first to commentate in Sinhala.
XI: Atapattu, Jayasuriya, Sangakkara, Aravinda de Silva, Jayawardene, Gurusinha, Ranatunga, Vass, Rumesh Ratnayake, Muralitharan, Ajit de Silva
Michael Roberts
Michael Roberts
Author-compiler of the anthology, Essaying Cricket: Sri Lanka and Beyond. Historian and former teacher at Peradeniya University and Adelaide University.
XI: Wettimuny, Dilshan, Dias, Aravinda de Silva, Jayawardene, Sangakkara, Ranatunga, Rumesh Ratnayake, de Mel, Ajit de Silva, Muralitharan
Sa'adi Thawfeeq
Sa'adi Thawfeeq
Among Sri Lanka's most senior sports journalists. Has covered over 125 Test matches played by Sri Lanka, including all their home Tests. Presently sports editor of the Nation newspaper.
XI: Jayasuriya, Atapattu, Sangakkara, Aravinda de Silva, Jayawardene, Ranatunga, Goonatilleke, Vaas, de Mel, Muralitharan, Malinga
Sidath Wettimuny
Sidath Wettimuny
Scored Sri Lanka's first Test century, against Pakistan. Served as a match referee after retirement and also as Sri Lanka's chairman of selectors.
XI: Atapattu, Jayasuriya, Aravinda de Silva, Dias, Jayawardene, Sangakkara, Goonatilleke, Vaas, de Mel, Ajit de Silva, Muralitharan
Mahinda Wijesinghe
Mahinda Wijesinghe
Journalist. Author of Sri Lanka Cricket - At the High Table. Helped develop a device used in experiments to prove the legality of Muttiah Muralitharan's bowling action.
XI: Atapattu, Jayasuriya, Aravinda de Silva, Dias, Jayawardene, Sangakkara, Ranatunga, Ravi Ratnayeke, Vaas, Rumesh Ratnayake, Muralitharan
Daminda Wijesuriya
Daminda Wijesuriya
Professional sportswriter for the last 20 years. Has covered more than 90 Test matches and over 200 ODIs in Sri Lanka and overseas. Sports editor of a leading national daily newspaper in Sri Lanka for the last 15 years.
XI: Atapattu, Jayasuriya, Sangakkara, Jayawardene, Aravinda de Silva, Ranatunga, Vaas, de Mel, Rumesh Ratnayake, Mendis, Muralitharan

    Trading places

All Out Cricket: In a world where £50m can be staked on a single IPL game, armies of professional cricket traders work the betting markets. But who are these people?

The set-up

The Cricket Monthly: When Tony Greig was outwitted by Ashley Mallett
Download the app: for iPad | for Android tablet

    Automaton, man, inspiration

Twenty years on, Shivnarine Chanderpaul continues to be understated. And that doesn't bother him. What's not to like? By Brydon Coverdale

    85 Tests, 70 defeats

Numbers Game: Bangladesh's stats are easily the worst among all teams when they'd played as many Tests

The case against revoking ODI status

Tim Wigmore: By restricting the number of ODI teams, the ICC is depriving Associates of funds and new fans

News | Features Last 7 days

Champions League T20 still battling for meaning

The thrills are rather low-octane, the skills are a bit lightweight, and the tournament overly India-centric

From Constantine to Chanderpaul

As West Indies play their 500th Test, here's an interactive journey through their Test history

Busy keepers, and Waqar's bowleds

Also, high scores and low averages, most ducks in international cricket, and the 12-year-old Test player

'My kind of bowling style is gone now'

Former New Zealand seamer Gavin Larsen talks about wobbly seam-up bowling, the 1992 World Cup, and his role in the next tournament

Automaton, man, inspiration

Twenty years on, Shivnarine Chanderpaul continues to be understated, underestimated. And that doesn't bother him. What's not to like?

News | Features Last 7 days