Sri Lanka news May 31, 2010

Aravinda de Silva targets World Cup glory


Aravinda de Silva, Sri Lanka's former captain and newly-appointed chairman of selectors, has singled out winning the World Cup in 2011 as his "primary responsibility" in his latest role. de Silva, who scored an unbeaten century to take Sri Lanka to their only World Cup win, in 1996 against Australia in Lahore, said the national team had to win some major tournaments in its preparation for the ultimate prize, admitted it needed improvement at the top of the order and defended the 40-year-old Sanath Jayasuriya, who had a forgettable World Twenty20.

"My primary aim is to help Sri Lanka win another World Cup," de Silva told reporters in Colombo. "I've wanted another team to win a World Cup so that the people of Sri Lanka have something to talk about."

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

While acknowledging the need for the selectors to get the right combination ready for the World Cup, de Silva said a significant share of the responsibility had to come from the players. "A player must have the experience of having played in at least a minimum of 50 ODIs to be able to handle difficult situations when it comes to a World Cup," he said. "We've got only nine months and to give a new player that amount of exposure is not adequate. We need to have some players with a mixture of experience and youth who can handle difficult situations. That's our plan going forward to build up that combination.

"For me this bunch of cricketers has talent and ability, we just need to put a few things right and win some major tournaments. To do that, a big part of the commitment and responsibility must come from the players."

While spelling out the areas Sri Lanka need to improve ahead of the World Cup, de Silva said: "The top of the batting order is a matter of concern. What we've realized is if the two openers fail we need someone to come and consolidate the innings. In a situation like that when we are looking around for options and if you can't find suitable replacements then we are not prepared."

There has been plenty of criticism surrounding Jayasuriya's performances in the recent past, with many calling on him to quit. de Silva, however, said Sri Lanka had to consider all options for the World Cup. "We know what Jayasuriya is capable of. We must have a proper replacement for every position. We have nine months to prepare for the World Cup and we have not discarded anyone so far and decided on the positions they should play.

"You have to be fair to Sanath. He's shown what he is capable of and he has performed over the years and done so much for the country. We should respect that. It's fair that we look at every player the same way whether it is the youngest player or the most senior player. Anyone who gets out of hand which will affect the team, that is where when we will step in."

de Silva added the sports minister had given the selection committee an assurance that there won't be any interference. "If he has any queries and if the people are questioning I am quite willing to listen to that and give them an opportunity and explain for what reasons we have taken certain decisions," de Silva said.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on June 7, 2010, 15:11 GMT


  • Ranga on June 4, 2010, 13:32 GMT

    If Aravinada helps Sanath retain his position in the team most likely he will be: (1) Hurting Sri Lankan team. Any body who thinks independently will agree that there is a very little chance that Sanath will perform again. (2) Hurting the careers of a potential new great player. Imagine Sanath or Aravinda was not given a chance to be in the team when they were coming out because a nonperforming, influential, forty year old player with another full time job still wanted to be in the team. Moreover, Sanath and Aravinda both will loose the respect of real cricket fans; the fans from all over the world who like them because of their playing skills, not just because they won matches for Sri Lanka. Sanath will have to retire as a failed has-been and Aravinda will be considered who played politics with his power and a person who gave in to power against convictions or a dumb person who couldn't do his job well.

  • Ishara on June 3, 2010, 10:22 GMT

    I think we need to have solid opening slot,it should definitely dilshan & tharanga. then kumar 3 and mahela 4, samaraweera 5.I think denesh chandimal should given chance ahead of kapugedara, who dissapoited with very slow scoring & never put his hand's up like we saw mahela, kumar even mathews,as soon as they came to the seen.kandambi was good, scored runs but i am not sure about his feelding.murali, mendis and randiv, depending on wicket as spinners.i think randiv,chandimal & perera should play as much as possible to gain that experiance ara talking abt. dilhara, thushara , kulasekara & malinga make up pace attack. i think perera should given the confidence, he got real potential with the ball could be very good.i think kumar should give up gloves for good. one day & 20/20 it should chandimal.hope ara will look at Banuka Rajapaksha very closely.FOR KAPU,SHOULD CHANGE HIS GAME,COME OUT THE SHELL & PLAY AGGRASIVE POSITIVE CRICKET, WHICH YOU CAN! thats the only way he' ll get a chance.

  • Viraj on June 3, 2010, 10:11 GMT

    Sri Lanka needs for their Captain to believe in every player.. Everyone is talented, but they all need that bit of moral support.. Bring back Arjuna!! He knows how to get the best out of everyone..Sanga is a great player, But not a very good captain.. Sri Lanka needs a player like Sanath, without him, we cant win the world cup. If he was to be replaced, there is no one like him. Dilshan is the closest, but the shoes are still too big for him to fill. I recon Mahela should take over the captaincy till the world cup finishes at least.. Aravinda, I believe in you!

  • Supeshala on June 2, 2010, 15:09 GMT

    Sanath is a great player. A legend of cricket! No doubt about that. Having said that if he fails continuously it is a matter to concern. In Australia does not matter how big your name is if you do not support the team you are in the cut list. But in Sri Lanka does not matter how you perform if you have a big name in cricket you are in the team. This is so sad and urgent matter to concern.

    Look! Dilhara was a continues failure in the international cricket. In Australia his performance is ridiculous. But still he has got the chance to play cricket for Sri Lanka. Looking at his statistics it's so funny and cannot understand why he is getting so many chances. If Sri Lanka has lost in a big margin Dilhara has played in that game. Could be "luck"! Or "Political luck" which is very common to Sri Lankan culture.

  • Ranga on June 2, 2010, 14:48 GMT

    "You have to be fair to Sanath. He's shown what he is capable of and he has performed over the years and done so much for the country. We should respect that ..." Sanath did not perform to any acceptable level recently and paying respect to his past glory is not Aravinda's job. He can do it, like we all do, at his leisure while having a drink with old friends. Do your job. Pick the best team. Only a blind cricket fan will think that team should include Sanath. "A player must have the experience of having played in at least a minimum of 50 ODIs to be able to handle difficult situations when it comes to a World Cup," Are you making rubbish arguments to justify including Sanath? Thushaara,Chandimal,Mendis, Mathews, NLTC Perera, Thirimanne, Welegedara do not have 50 ODI's yet. But Sanath does and Samaraweera too. Come on!

  • Dummy4 on June 1, 2010, 20:23 GMT

    how he ll do da ryt thing 4 sl cricket, he did great job with under 19 squad. but da problem s we are too late to make changes.datz da sad part of dis change.if we put dis team few years back , i m sure aravinda and others ll do much better plan with current players. anyway gud luck 4 new members!!!!getting ryt combinantion is vital than winin world cup cos datz very debatable!!!!

  • Dilhan on June 1, 2010, 19:09 GMT

    No matter who is in which position the question is what they had their minds. If they really want to serve the country they must take right decisions. Sanath is a parlimenterian now if he wants to serve his country he must never use his political power to retain in the team. He must play fair cricket to retain in the team. Sanath and Arvinda are my all time favorite cricketers but when I see Sanath playing continually even he fails every game I am really disappointed. I hope it never happen again in Sri Lankan cricket. Arvinda now you have the responsibility I saw that you have done a great service for Sri Lankan cricket even after the your retirement now you got your position to show your colors again. I wish you all the best.

  • Amila on June 1, 2010, 17:29 GMT

    I have a simple comment. Sri Lanka can't win the 2011 WC without Jayasuriya. That's it. Wait and see.

  • Jerry on June 1, 2010, 15:55 GMT

    Time for Sanath to go , he has done yeoman servicce in the past. We acnnot dwell in past glories. I think maybe Jehan Mubarak can come in to open in T20 format and for 50 overs in the middle order , we need some big hitters to finish the game and go in for the kill when needed ideal team- dilshan,mahela , sangakkara(wk) samaraweera , matthews, tissara perera, mubarak , randiv, ajanta mendis, malinga and kulasekera/dilhara fernando

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