Sri Lanka news May 26, 2010

Aravinda de Silva takes over as chief selector

Former Sri Lankan captain Aravinda de Silva has been named chairman of a new four-member national selection committee by sports minister Chandrasiri Bandara Ratnayake on Wednesday.

The other members of the committee are Ranjith Fernando, Amal Silva and Shabbir Asgerally. All four members have served in the capacity as selectors in previous committees.

The new panel replaces the one headed by Ashantha de Mel and also included Don Anurasiri, Vinothen John and Chaminda Mendis. de Mel and Anurasiri have been selectors for the past four years.

de Silva, 44, is best remembered for playing the key role in his country winning their only World Cup in 1996 when he scored a century in the final against Australia at Lahore. He was Sri Lanka's foremost batsman for almost two decades since making his Test debut at Lord's against England in 1984. He represented Sri Lanka in 93 Tests and 308 ODIs, and was till recently consultant coach to the Sri Lanka Under-19s World Cup team.

Fernando, a former wicketkeeper-batsman, played for Sri Lanka in the inaugural World Cup in 1975 and has served in various administrative capacities and managed several national teams. He is currently manager of the Sri Lanka's A team which is due to tour Australia next month.

Silva, a left-hand bat and wicketkeeper played for Sri Lanka in the eighties in eight Tests and 20 ODIs. Asgerally is the only member who has not played for his country but was a prolific opening batsman and wicket-keeper for Bloomfield on the domestic circuit.

The new selection committee's main priority would be to pick a team to win the World Cup which will be hosted by Sri Lanka, India and Bangladesh in February-March next year. The last occasion Sri Lanka won the World Cup was when it was held in the subcontinent.