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Sri Lanka selectors to look for new blood

ESPNcricinfo staff

April 11, 2011

Comments: 27 | Text size: A | A

Duleep Mendis after becoming Sri Lanka's chief of selectors, Colombo, April 11, 2011
Sri Lanka's new chief selector Duleep Mendis said they would announce a new captain in a week © AFP
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With Sri Lankan cricket undergoing a complete change at their helm, new head of selectors Duleep Mendis said there will be new blood in the team as well. Kumar Sangakkara, when quitting the captaincy, said it was because Sri Lanka needed to build a new team for the 2015 World Cup, and Mendis echoed those sentiments, saying the team needed to rebuild.

"Rebuilding is going to be the key in the coming months," Mendis said. "Some things may not work, some tactics may pay off." Mendis will head a panel that features four past cricketers: Brendon Kuruppu, Don Arunasiri, Ranjith Madurasinghe and Chaminda Mendis.

Muttiah Muralitharan, who had led Sri Lanka's bowling for more than a decade, is retired from all forms of the game, while some of their other key players are past thirty: Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene are both 33, while Tillakaratne Dilshan is 34. In addition, Lasith Malinga, though just 27, has had an injury-laden career and said he will not be around for the next World Cup.

Mendis said the 2015 World Cup was something Sri Lanka had to build towards from now, and that required looking for players from junior squads.

"Right now, the A team is the most important feeder mechanism for the main team. Our job in the months ahead is to scout for talent to replace some of the older players as we face several tours in the coming months.

"Our cricket calendar is full in the coming months, but our task is also to build a pool to face the 2015 World Cup to be played in Australia and New Zealand."

Sri Lanka will tour England in May, and Australia later in the year. They are also hosts for the World Twenty20 in 2012. Ahead of the England tour, the selectors will have to name a captain and vice-captain. Sangakkara has offered to captain the Test side in England, in order to give the selectors more time to choose a new one, but Mendis said nothing had been decided yet.

"We need at least a week to make the announcement," Mendis said. "I was very surprised with Kumar's resignaton. Very surprised he wanted to quit captaining the one-day side too."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by SLWATERBOY on (April 14, 2011, 16:30 GMT)

Mahela should be re instated as captain in all three formats. He should be the captain for WC 2015 as well. He is 33 years old same as Sanga, but if you look into the past he is one of the players who had least injuries and kept him self fit throughout. Since he is not keeping wickets like Sanga, if he keep himself in good shape there is no reason why he should not carry the burden of captaincy till WC 2015. Appoint Angelo as Mahela's deputy immediately (in all three formats) and make him the captain immediately after the WC 2015. So Angelo will have four years to watch and learn and also by 2015 he will have a solid team (a team which is rebuild with youngsters) to lead. So he can lead the team for WC 2019 and beyond. Mahela is the best man that Angelo can look upon and learn the trade! Good luck!

Posted by Mexaman on (April 14, 2011, 13:55 GMT)

For all Islam brethren who are worried they have 2 people in the team T M Dishan and Suraj Mohamad / Randiv. So cheer up......

Posted by Mexaman on (April 14, 2011, 13:53 GMT)

I am surprised at some comments here. Herath-UK says Mathews has not found a place in the test team. Where was he all this time ? He was the permanent o 6 batter for SL team for the last 2 years with an average of over 35, he played the last 13 tests and missed only one due to injury. He made a match saving 99 against Dhoni's Indian in a test match.

Upul Tharanga did not play a single test match during the last 3 years. Some people are blindly asking him to be made test captain.

Mahela and Sanga have been pipped at the post by street smart captains in 2007 and 2011. Sanga was dis oriented in 2011 and Mahela could not bat well in 2007 and it effects his batting. Their leadership in IPL has also been questionable. So y are we pushing to try them again. Let's give a new captain a chance.

Posted by   on (April 14, 2011, 5:36 GMT)

Mahela should be given the job in all 3 forms of the game with Angelo as the VC for at least a year..

Posted by   on (April 14, 2011, 2:54 GMT)

Tharanga Captain? .... he is not in the Test Squad, and some people does not know it. He is yet to show any of his tactical ability even as a opener. Angeleo will be a better captain than Sanga or Mahela for certain. I remember when people were calling for Angelel's inclusion in the team some reporters were writing reports telling that others are much better. His leadership in match winning innings has silenced them I am sure his captaincy will also silence them pretty soon as he will lead from the front as Dhoni and will be a street smart cricketer like Arjuna Rantunge. he will not take defeat till the last run is scored or the last wicket is lost, he has done this Job of leading from the front for Sri Lanka under 19, Sri Lanka A team and his college as well. He was able to captain SL under 19 for 2 years as even as a youngster he was better than seniors in tactics, never say die attitude.

Posted by   on (April 14, 2011, 2:42 GMT)

Angelo is the best pick, Vice captain is the issue. Make him Captain for Tests as well immediately. We need him to have experience with Englishmen and Aussies as well. Tharanga has not captained any team, even his club I guess, where as Angel has captained SL Under 19 in so many overseas trips.

Drop Kulasekara, Kapugedara and Chamara Silva immidiately and ask them to perform to come back. Kula will not be effective in aussy for sure. Train some young fast bowlers on yorkers and inswingers, send them to academies. Make Vass the fast bowling coach and Murali the spin coach. We need a foreign fielding coach , a Aussy or a NZ fellow.

Also get Mahela and Sanga to the lower middle order 5-7 position are for them. Angelo can bat at 4, Chandimal 3. We need to sort the openers. Dilshan of course the first choice. We can groom Dinesh Chandimal ( former Anandian ), Dimuth Karunaratne ( former Josephian ), Banuka Rajapakse ( Royalist ) by including them in the team

Posted by AnasNZ on (April 13, 2011, 6:19 GMT)

Well it's time for the new era players to take over the reigns. I suggest that some of the current school scene players should be included in the SL squad and groom them for the future. My SL team listing would be - Captain Angelo Mathews in all format of the game with a radical vice captain from the school scene Bhanuka Rajapaksa the make up of the team should be Dilshan, Ramit Rambukwella/Tissara Perera to open, one drop Angelo, Kumar, Mahela, Bhanuka, Upul Tharanga/Dinesh Chandimal, Chathura Peris(very important player for the future), Andri Berenger/Lahiru Thrimanne/Chamara Kapugathera, Randiv, Malinga, Mendis etc. Important to get the young guns exposed to international cricket very early.

Posted by   on (April 13, 2011, 1:10 GMT)

i really think tharanga should be the captain. y is everyone talking about mathews. we have tharanga but dont know his attitude. vice captain can be mathews. we have experienced guys like sanga,mahela n dilshan to guide. its sad we dont have an experienced bowler anymore.

Posted by Herath-UK on (April 12, 2011, 22:37 GMT)

SL should not make another blunder here,do not send the team to England without Sanga/Mahela as the Test captain.It is not just cricket but the overall quality is paramount travelling to England and any novice as a captain will have egg on face!In the Test side Dilshan should be made the vice captain in the short term under Sanga/Mahela and Tharanga as the long term vice captain when Dilshan is made Captain of the team with a view to make Tharanga the permanent captain if he rises up well.Mathews has not yet found a place in the Test team and not certain yet whether he would succeed at that level,if so then could be made vice captain to Tharanga.Dilshan should be made captain of ODI team to England with Mathews as vice captain with Chandimal & Bhanuka who did well here with 19 team last yr. Fast bowlers should be tall guys to extract bounce not short speedsters. Ranil Herath Kent

Posted by athulajagoda on (April 12, 2011, 18:11 GMT)

Definitely need young flood likes of Chandimal , Banuka & ... They need Sanga & mahela's share of experience for at least 2-3 years.They have to guide these youths. Sanga's resignation is not expectable unless he had political pressure.Any how Mahela should takeover the captaincy 4 two years with future captain as his deputy.. Good luck....

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