Sri Lanka news January 19, 2012

SL has new selection panel, more changes likely

ESPNcricinfo staff

Ashantha de Mel, the former Sri Lanka fast bowler, has been named the chairman of the country's new selection panel, which replaced the one headed by Duleep Mendis. The appointment, made by the sports minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage, could be the first in a series of changes in Sri Lankan cricket, which could include the axeing of the coach Geoff Marsh and captain Tillakaratne Dilshan after the poor performance in South Africa.

Don Anurasiri, Amal Silva and Hemantha Wickramaratne are the other members of the new selection committee, which has a one-year term. Although the tenure of Mendis' panel was going to end in February, the appointment of the new panel will come into effect on January 20.

Anurasiri is the only member from the old committee, but de Mel and Silva have served as selectors before. Wickramaratne, a left-hand batsman who played in three ODIs in the early nineties, is new to the role.

Mahela Jayawardene is also likely to be asked to take over the captaincy from Dilshan after the South Africa tour. When asked in Kimberley, on the eve of the fourth ODI, whether he would accept the offer, Jayawardene said, "I will have to think about it. I will need some time."

The news about the selection committee came less than two hours after Aluthgamage denied a report in the Daily Mirror, a Sri Lanka newspaper, that changes to the committee, captain and national coach would be made. "No decision has been taken so far to replace or to change the selection committee and the management of Sri Lanka Cricket or the captaincy of the Sri Lankan cricket team," he had said in a statement.

Aluthgamage, however, said it was the "responsibility of the Sri Lankan government and the Sports Ministry" to take "stern and appropriate action" to ensure Sri Lanka becomes "the number one team in the world." Upali Dharmadasa, the president of Sri Lanka Cricket, has already been asked to submit a report to the ministry on the team's poor performances since the 2011 World Cup.

Sri Lanka struggled since the retirement of Muttiah Muralitharan in July 2010, winning just one Test over the last 18 months, though that was a historic maiden victory in South Africa. They have also lost one-day series against England, Australia, Pakistan and now South Africa after being runners-up in the World Cup.

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  • Dummy4 on January 21, 2012, 6:55 GMT

    I doubt this new appointments would work. Not the best selection. At least if they use the brain and select the proper players for the proper format, it would be somewhat OK.

  • Nishani Lochna Madhumali on January 21, 2012, 2:41 GMT

    Mahela is also struggling as a batsman. He finds it difficult to regain his normal form. I think captaincy will be an extra pressure for him. This is not a good option. Sanga is the most suitable guy for the captaincy..

  • Dummy4 on January 21, 2012, 1:08 GMT

    Make Ramesh Ratnayae and Chaminda Vas the fast bowling consultants. Champaka is a very good work horse and we appreciate that but he is not a good tactician and we all know that.

  • S on January 20, 2012, 23:25 GMT

    This should have been done immediately after the Australia series.

  • Dummy4 on January 20, 2012, 22:45 GMT

    Not sure why the minister doesn't give the job to someone that breathes and lives Sidath Wettimuny. Also Upul Tharanga should be considered for 1 day captaincy. He seems to have cool head. Samaraweera would not be bad choice for Test captain ...if Mahela doesn't want to do that. I can predict that Ashantha de Mel will try to oust Marvan as coach they did not seem to get on during Marvan's last series and Marvan called Ashantha a "joker". Can a "joker" turn into an ace and keep Marvan as batting coach ? Let's wait and see. I hope that the new selectors bring back Kapugedera from his extended honeymoon !

  • Lester on January 20, 2012, 22:26 GMT

    I was right about Perera - the selectors woke up at last.

    I'm available - but I need paying!

  • Nilantha on January 20, 2012, 21:47 GMT

    Sack the minister who can write his knowledge of cricket on the back of a postage stamp and I guarantee,our cricket will improve

  • Dummy4 on January 20, 2012, 12:11 GMT

    Mathew should remove from the captsincy wt is the use of him if he dosn't support captain he seems to be dosen't have any resposibilty and not supporting captain

  • Dummy4 on January 20, 2012, 11:33 GMT

    First they wanted to make a captain for next world cup now they want to put Mahela on course, this is the end of Mahela's career for sure.

  • Dummy4 on January 20, 2012, 11:21 GMT

    sports minister should leave this cricket board and let them make decision independently then only srilankan cricket future will be good..all the things are happening from his brain only...poor brain.

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