Sri Lanka likely to rest key players
Sri Lanka are poised to appoint a new captain and rest key senior players for their forthcoming tour of Bangladesh which follows the ongoing VB Series. According to selection sources, Marvan Atapattu, Chaminda Vaas and Muttiah Muralitharan are expected to be rested as the selectors look to the future.
Sri Lanka's selectors are concerned about player burnout due to the team's intensive schedule in 2006 and want to keep senior players fresh. Atapattu has been struggling with a back injury and the break will allow him to recover fully for a Test and ODI series against Pakistan starting in March. Muralitharan will miss the one-day leg of the tour so he can see his newly born son for the first time.
The final make-up of the squad and the new captain will be finalised on Monday when the selectors meet. Lalith Kaluperuma, the chairman of selectors, is currently in Australia with the team but will return in time for the meeting. Sri Lanka are due to depart for Bangladesh on February 17.
Most discussion will centre around the appointment of the captain and vice-captain. Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene, the former vice-captain until Vaas's appointment midway through the India tour last year, are the clear frontrunners, although there is also a possibility that Sanath Jayasuriya, the former captain, could take up the job in an interim capacity.