Sri Lanka news January 28, 2013

Jayasuriya named chairman of selectors


Sanath Jayasuriya has been appointed chairman of selectors by sports minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage, and the number of selectors increased to five, Sri Lanka's sports ministry confirmed on Monday. Jayasuriya is a member of parliament for the ruling United People's Freedom Alliance, of which Aluthgamage is also a member. He was a late addition to the list of nominees sent to the minister by Sri Lanka cricket, and will begin his tenure on February 1, 19 months after his last appearance for Sri Lanka.

Former fast bowlers Pramodya Wickramasinghe and Eric Upashantha were also appointed to the panel, as well as former batsmen Chaminda Mendis and Hemantha Wickramaratne, who is the only selector to receive a second consecutive term, having also served in the last panel under Ashantha de Mel. 

The panel was also appointed for an indefinite period, a change from previous years, where Sri Lanka had new panels every 12 months. "Under the sports law, it's the minister's prerogative to hand down a term for the selectors, but he hasn't done that this time," a spokesperson for the sports ministry told ESPNcricinfo. "If the selectors are doing a good job, they can continue."

Two of the five members are also likely to become full time SLC employees, also a change from previous years, when all three selectors were unpaid. SLC will meet with the new panel on Tuesday to discuss which of them will come on board as paid staff.

Jayasuriya played 110 Tests for Sri Lanka and was captain in both formats from 1999 to 2003. In 2008, he regained his place in the Sri Lanka squad only after the then-sports minister intervened.

Jayasuriya's appointment mires SLC further in the nation's politics, months after the board had said it would endeavour to remove the political influence in Sri Lanka's cricket. Haroon Lorgat's review of SLC recommended that the sports law be amended so that the minister is no longer involved in selection, and although the board said the minister had been receptive to the idea of an amendment, there have not yet been any moves to remove him from the selection process. Under current law, the minister approves each selection made by the panel in addition to appointing the selectors.

Among the panel's first tasks will be to choose a new captain for Tests and ODIs, following Mahela Jayawardene's resignation. Twenty20 captain Angelo Mathews is tipped to take the reins in ODIs, but may not receive the Test captaincy, after the minister said he would prefer to have two separate captains.

Andrew Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on January 30, 2013, 5:55 GMT

    Politics is a leading part everywhere in the world....

  • Dummy4 on January 29, 2013, 11:24 GMT

    with all respect to our champion cricketer the legend Sana, and his past experience to lead the team we have no doubt that he can help to develop SL cricket team. But you see other selection committee members that is where you do not find legends or past experience as leader I would say those were member of the winning team not as leaders. we would like to see caliber like, Hassan, Mahanama, Gurusinghe, Vass, Murali, Aravinda, Ranathunga, Dulip Mendis, Madugalle, Sidat W'muny, Roy Dias, Rumais Rathnayake, Ravi Rathnayake, Amal Silva, Kalu, Arnold, Warnapura, Kuruppu, and so on .... Now can any one tells that no political interference on the proposed selection committee.

  • tuan on January 29, 2013, 11:16 GMT

    Congrates Sana Boy.Now we can form a new team you lead Mahela Sanga,Dilshan,Hashan,Marwan can join.We shall not give a chance to the young lads.You wont have another chance to form a team on your own.This is pure Luck my dear..

  • Dru on January 29, 2013, 10:52 GMT

    I dont understand why the Minister is not the selector? Also how can anyone be appointed indefinitley in this day age of performance based appointments. I have just seen 3 young players for SL in Aus (Kusal, Dimuth and Lahiru) and wonder what the selectors (and Minister) were thinking when they selecter Tharanga Paranavitharan and Upul Tharanaga for the tour.

    As for Sanath - well his record off the field has been nothing short of poor and infact he forced himself in to the team through the Minister, just to play one game and retire. It is questionalble if someone with such a set of values will ever do the right thing. What's more he is a politician which makes this decision nothing short of appauling.

    SL needs something to change fast and lets hope Sanath changes things like he did in the middle or else the light at the end of the tunnel just dissappeared.

  • Suraj on January 29, 2013, 9:59 GMT

    Congrats santah i'm sure u will help to reach lions cricket height further.....

  • Amila on January 29, 2013, 8:59 GMT

    Well, one thing he cannot do is ask the senior players to retire of leave them out of the team pointing out their ages , coz Sana him self wanted stay in the team forever without worrying about his age( until the management and the Caption kicked him out)

  • rahul on January 29, 2013, 8:47 GMT

    SLC is simply competing with PCB for the title of the most political cricket board. Amazingly though both nations keep producing quality players despite all the mismanagement.

  • Denham on January 29, 2013, 7:48 GMT

    Making comments here about SLC won't make any difference. We can cry till the cows come home but what difference would it make? Where is the HL report? Where are the recommendations now? Have they implemented a single? The answer is a big NO. So, no matter what takes place at SLC, let's support the playing 11. At least the 11 on the field make us Sri Lankans proud.

  • vithur on January 29, 2013, 7:02 GMT

    Interesting to see Jayasuriya heading the selection panel, is this what we call "automatic selection" to the team?

  • Theekshana on January 29, 2013, 6:54 GMT

    @ Hitwicket99 mate... may be u should read more abt cricket n get some knowledge abt history of cricket.. Sanath did retire from test matches little earlier and he retired from ODIs when he played in UK in 2011. He will make some surprise selections but 20years worth of experience with him mate... he wont do any harm to SL cricket but lots of good things just like he did in his playing days...