Sri Lanka news

Jayasuriya promises fair selection

Andrew Fidel Fernando

January 30, 2013

Comments: 33 | Text size: A | A

Sanath Jayasuriya speaks about his new role as chief selector, Colombo, January, 30, 2013
Sanath Jayasuriya's first tasks include finding a new Test and ODI captain © AFP

Sri Lanka's new chairman of selectors Sanath Jayasuriya has highlighted the value of senior players in the Test side, after weeks of rumours suggested Mahela Jayawardene may be cut from the team after his public spat with the selectors last month.

Other rumours also suggested Kumar Sangakkara's place was in doubt, as he was captain when Jayasuriya was dropped from the limited overs sides, but Jayasuriya said he did not bring any prejudices to his new role, and that selections will be made objectively.

Jayawardene had expressed his dismay at seeing a confidential letter to SLC in the papers in December, when he wrote to news outlets to clarify the letter's context and stated he had "lost all confidence in dealing with SLC" as a result of the leak. SLC then issued a statement saying Jayawardene's comments would be reviewed by the executive committee, but no concrete disciplinary action has been taken, over a month later.

Jayasuriya reiterated that his panel would not be waylaid by past disagreements or politics, and would instead endeavour only to improve cricket in Sri Lanka.

"I've already said that we need the senior cricketers in the set up," he said. "Without senior players, it's very difficult for the youngsters to go forward. As a selection panel, we haven't had discussions yet, but the seniors have a role to play.

"We haven't been appointed to cut Mahela or Sangakkara from the team, we're here to make good selections. It's good to introduce one or two youngsters in the team, but you can't make big changes at once. We will work step-by-step with the seniors."

Jayasuriya also laid out a rough strategy for his panel, two of whom will be employed as full-time selectors, and said there would be a greater drive to unearth talent from Sri Lanka's club system. Hashan Tillakaratne and Pramodya Wickramasinghe have been given the full-time roles.

"What we expect from the full time selectors is that they play close attention to every match, with specific objectives in mind. Maybe one of them will focus on Under-19 cricket and the A team, and the other will work closely with the national team and be there at training. The remaining members will also have specific roles, and we will be watching club cricket and will be informed about under-19 cricket as well."

Jayasuriya said he may also send a letter to each of the clubs asking them to select their six best players, who will then travel to Colombo for a two-day training camp which the selectors will oversee.

"There might be cricketers in those clubs that are good enough to play for Sri Lanka, but they have been missed. If we have a two-day period when we can observe them, we will have a good idea of who the talented players are. We can even form a database, and if someone starts doing well at club level, we already have an idea of how good they are."

One of the new panel's first tasks will be to name a new Test and ODI captain after Jayawardene stepped down from the post during the tour of Australia, but Jayasuriya would not be drawn on whether he favoured a split captaincy, nor would he name potential candidates for the job.

"There are a few names, but we haven't discussed anything yet, and we haven't talked about any captaincy issues. There has been a lot of media speculation about what we have been discussing or who we will appoint, but there's nothing like that. That's a decision that needs to be thought out carefully and discussed a lot."

The new panel officially takes over on February 1, and will be charged first with naming a Test side for the upcoming Bangladesh tour of Sri Lanka which begins on March 9.

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

RSS Feeds: Andrew Fidel Fernando

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by miles100 on (February 1, 2013, 15:40 GMT)

I don't see any problem seing Sanath being the chairman of selectors regardless of any political influence. Why because he has enough knowledge of the game. No need to fear him, Sanath wants to see young players coming in to the side from under 19 and coexist with the seniors. I never heard previous selectors talking about U19. Some ask why the selectors don't get Thisara to open the batting. Opening the batting with the new ball requires some good technique(especially facing 2 new balls today). New ball could swing at about 140 KMPH and lot harder than facing an older ball. Thisara may only suceed in a few occasions as an opener. There are lots of young talented pinch hitters in SL schools who can do a great job by opening the side in future. Thisara/Kulasekera both have a role to play with the tale as they have big hitting power with the old ball to boost the rate at the end. Also they are capable of utilizing the batting power play later.

Posted by KingOwl on (February 1, 2013, 0:49 GMT)

The problem lies not just with SLC and the politicians, but also the people of the country. I am a Sri Lankan too. But I will be frank to admit that the politicians and the SLC officials are a reflection of society in SL. When you read the comments here made by Sri Lankans it is clear why things are so complex. Rumors, innuendos, conspiracy theories, hidden agendas, non-existent agendas - they are all part of life. And let me also say that politicians are no worse than business people in SL. So trying to look at SL through a Western lense (which I know very well) is meaningless. I think this new panel, just like old panels, will muddle their way through. I have no major concerns about selection. My concerns are about financial mismanagement. I am very skeptical that the finances will be brought back to normal in the near term.

Posted by goldeneye075 on (January 31, 2013, 17:18 GMT)

SL Cricket is in dangerous waters right now, it will only get rough with time. Politics need to be kept out of cricket, some can argue its a conflict of interest. IF Sanath or Hashan need to do some thing to cricket itself, they should resign form there politics and then enter the arena. Anyway how much we scream, the higher "gods of politics" will not listen to our call, it's all a lost cause. :-)

Posted by SL_Boy on (January 31, 2013, 16:58 GMT)

Selection should not be base on WC or anything, this should be base on best 15 players, any one should be able to play even if they are 35. These days Maharoof, Mubarac and Angelo Playing excellent. EX: If you get Mahela his out of SL test avg below 30.

Posted by stumpedlloyd on (January 31, 2013, 14:12 GMT)

Finally! Now, Sanath Jayasuriya can give himself the proper exit from playing cricket he (and the government) desired, and can select to play himself at every venue. This is such good news. It was about time Sri Lanka took politics out of the selection process, and this, undoubtedly, is the first move in that direction.

Posted by EGWdxb on (January 31, 2013, 11:23 GMT)

This is unfortunate situation for sri lankan cricket. Harron Lorgart reports it says politics should not invoved in sl cricket. By selecting Sanath & Hashan in selection panel this fact going to fail. When Mahela Sanga leave sl cricket its going to be a sad story......We as sri lankans had only cricket to enjoy and watch but politicain ruin the sport as well....very unfortunate.

Posted by MH19 on (January 31, 2013, 9:21 GMT)

I can see no threat axing Mahela or Sanga. But they both can still give SL cricket their experience. I will be dissapointed if they drop Dilshan cos he bats,Bowls and also field better than any youngster. Mahela is a great Captain now good bye. Kusal challenges Chandimal and they both challenge Sanga.

Posted by ravi_hari on (January 31, 2013, 9:01 GMT)

With his vast experience and a co-member like Tilakaratne, Sanath can make a good contribution to Srilankan cricket. He has seen many facets in his long career and should agree that he was persisted with inspite of dying form. With seniors like Mahela and Sanga in the last phase of their careers the onus is on Sanath and team to re-build Sri Lanka. They need to find replacements and nurture them before they take the centre stage. Jayasurya himself had to wait for the right opportunity to blossom and alongwith Kulu created a new brand of cricket. He knows very well what hard work will do and how selections affect the performance of the team. He should have only cricket in mind while choosing players and should have a definite road map for the young team. 2015 World Cup will be his real test in case he stays that long.

Posted by CricketMaan on (January 31, 2013, 8:51 GMT)

He has shown he is a good politician by talking, now he need to show he is a good adminstrator by walking the talk. He has knowledge, stats and skills, the only challenge is to straight, honest decisions that will take SL forward. What i like about SL is for such a small nation to go and dominate world cricket the way they have done it, with limited talent pool they have time and again produced class cricketers, but they are at cross roads much like other nations and now is the time to invest and take honest decisions with long term goals. Good Luck from your neighbour.

Posted by   on (January 31, 2013, 7:51 GMT)

Sri Lanka has given chance to many Young, amazing, talented cricketer over the past few years and they have proved their presence on and off the field and and the world has seen their performance last 3 World Cups and reached in Finals. Huge responsibility on Sanath now once again... He did this in past as a player in 1996 and now as a chairman of selectors... Good Luck...Cheers!!!

Posted by pradeep_dealwis on (January 31, 2013, 5:55 GMT)

I think there are two sides to this story. One postive is the two fulltime selectors, and in Thilakarathna ( a politician himself) and Wickremasinghe, two good readers of the game. Add to the fact that Jayasooriya is a good reader of the game and a former Test cricketer and Captain. Also the fact that 5 selectors are there are good. Negative, of course, is the involvement of Politics. And things will always get tricky there. There is also the ambiguity of an "indefinite term", whcih seems better than the old one year term, but who knows? A solid 3-4 term, world cup to world cup, would have been best, and hopefully all selectors will be fulltime in the future

Posted by DilumSL on (January 31, 2013, 5:52 GMT)

Why do we have to worry about the dropping Mahela and Sanga from the team. They are both 35 years old. Sooner or later they have to retire. What is the point of sending them on our next two tours (Bangladesh and Zimbabwe). Plz select some youngsters for the ODI squad. But of course Both Sanga and Mahela or at least one of them should be there in the test team.

Posted by Sugath on (January 31, 2013, 4:37 GMT)

Sanath and the selectors must practice the zero base approach in the selection. That means profile each player from zero level on competence, delivery of results, mental approach, inter-personal skills, performance, leadership meaning the character ethic and not just personality ethic and host of other competence KRA and leadership KRA, both private and public in selecting the right mix. As for young players must institute a career pathing mission with goals set for each of them short term, medium term and long term. In selecting the captain what is most important is the inter-personal skills. One must remember Mike Brearley who was an average player was one of the most successful captains in the last 30+ years. Even after selection of test pool, the exercise should extend to other promising players. Also there must be succession planning build in to the system so that there will be no reactive decision making. Also the selection panel must act with equanimity but not animosity.l

Posted by ajithabey on (January 31, 2013, 4:06 GMT)

well SLC seems to finally go on the right track by bringing Hashan as a selector.But there are still two others who do not have the credentials to be in a selection committee.They should also step down like wickramaratne and pave the way for cricketers who have the proper credentials to serve in this all important committee. Hopefully the selectors will also have some exposure to fine tune their communication skills without murdering the english language.It maybe better to talk in their mother tongue if they cannot express themselves clearly and concisely in another language.Hopefully, Sanath will walk the talk and appoint captains and teams for different formats without any bias or political influence.

Posted by 9ST9 on (January 31, 2013, 3:18 GMT)

@king78787 - very much like the Indian board I don't think SL really care about test cricket anymore.

Posted by nuwanr on (January 31, 2013, 1:59 GMT)

Regarding inclusion/exclusion of mahela and sangakkara, there may not need any numbers or maths to select these due. I believe Mahela should still be all the format where Sangakkara only for Test. But I know what I believe will not be a mater to the final decisions. Watching closely.

Posted by PadMarley on (January 31, 2013, 1:53 GMT)

What I do not hope is - Sanga and Mahela will not have an early retirement from the game. Or Sana will tactfully give them an Axe. What I hope to see - Mahela and Sanga get their act together, and start putting big runs on the board as they used to do. Both of them were not up to the mark in both NZ and AU series. They both were too patchy!

Posted by   on (January 31, 2013, 1:08 GMT)

cricketer, cricket commentator, politician, businessman,mega star, cricket administrator, what else?

Posted by TheGreatLion on (January 31, 2013, 0:47 GMT)

My future Test captain Is Chandimal. If we think about long standing development of SL test team he should be the one. If someone thinks that he dsnt have enough experience, he can be trained under Thilan Samaraweera for atleast one year. Cz he is the only experience player who left in the side to take the captaincy. But then again we have only 4 test matches coming in 2013. My view regarding Mathews in test team is unclear. Neither he is a star batsman nor a star bowler to keep in the side constantly. Either he should perform more in batting.

Posted by Sinhaya on (January 31, 2013, 0:27 GMT)

Mr Sanath, I also hope you are aware of our new emerging batting sensation Niroshan Dickwella who has 3 tons in the local one day format. Just look at this link

Already averaging 43.50 is AWESOME and he got a ton in the provincial tournament finals yesterday.

Posted by Sinhaya on (January 31, 2013, 0:24 GMT)

@Surajdon9, come on men. Sooner Sanga and Mahela leave the better. We can survive SANS SANGA and Mahela as proven by our batting at the SCG. Surely should n't Karunaratne, Thirimanne and Chandimal be given a permanent place in the test XI? The greatest blessing of the Aussie tour was Sanga's injury along with that of Prasanna's paving the way for Thirimanne and Chandimal to impress. With us not having real tests till December this year, it is time we also play Angelo Perera and Kushal Perera too in the tests against Bangladesh and Zimbabwe.

Posted by miles100 on (January 31, 2013, 0:03 GMT)

I am happy the fact that Sanath is talking about under 19 cricket. In Sri Lanka this is when new comers peak to establish a place in the side especially specialist batsmen. Bowlers and all rounders may need a bit more extra time to peak until 21-22 or even 23 and no later than that by representing clubs or A team.Batsmen must come very early to the national side.

Posted by miles100 on (January 30, 2013, 23:47 GMT)

Who is saying that Jayasuriya will drop Mahela & Sanga. No way. Sanath is not that crazy to take such a hasty move apart from he will need to consult his selection panel,captain and coach before he makes a decision. Seniors are sometimes like coaches in the middle of a match when the team is under pressure. Sanath I guess is fully aware of it.Mathews is an independent player,however Chandimal, Lahiru,Kusal Future 19 year old Niroshan Dikwalle a reliable Kalu style pinch hitter, Dinuk Wikramanayeke(18 year old top scoring batsmen with spin bowling ability and good fielding) needs to spend another good 2 years with these seniors.

Posted by ex-Srilankan on (January 30, 2013, 23:42 GMT)

It appears plans are afoot to deprive Angelo Mathews the captaincy(speculations in the SL media already). I wonder why?

Posted by CricketChat on (January 30, 2013, 23:34 GMT)

Sanath was treated badly for while before being reinstated at the behest of sports minister (if my memory serves me right). He did well for a period of time after that before again falling apart, this time for good. I don't think these things will be forgotten that easily. Irrespective of that, Mahela and Sangakkara are nearing the end of their long distinguished careers, so they should be respectfully phased out and infuse next generation of players. Wish the best of luck to SL selection committee and team. I always liked their style of aggressive but fair play. After all, cricket needs a successful SL team.

Posted by malavi on (January 30, 2013, 23:27 GMT)

@ SL_Cricket_Fan. No-one has hinted or suggested or otherwise that Mahela and Sanga will be axed from the team. This seems to be all in ur imagination. Pls stop acting as though ur imagination is real life.

Posted by weere1980 on (January 30, 2013, 21:52 GMT)

yea i agree with you mr surajdon9. without those two they won't be team... i hope jayasuriya will do good changing.. specialy youngest cricketers.

Posted by sherlee on (January 30, 2013, 20:10 GMT)

What I see , if SL board is preparing for 2015 WC, they should consider thisara parera for captaincy where as for tests Angela Mathews is very good option and same for T20Is Thisara is very much better option. Its always being disputes rised in SL team after major teams series loss but they bounce back very well. best of luck SL.

Posted by pmaya on (January 30, 2013, 19:40 GMT)

Unfortunately its the end of the road for Mahela and Sanga. The IPL will benefit from Sl's loss.

Posted by king78787 on (January 30, 2013, 19:20 GMT)

dropping mahela and sanga would bring about the downfall of the test side. Thye would lose so much experience and considering that there are no viable alternatives for nos 3 and 4...

Posted by Agnar on (January 30, 2013, 19:10 GMT)

Jayasuriya's relutance to retire when he should have was not good for the team. Is that what he mean by "the value of senior players in the Test side"? Team selection should be based on numbers, not opinios, friendship, kinship, party affiliation, or school. So Jayasuriya, explain your method with formulas and numbers.

Posted by Surajdon9 on (January 30, 2013, 18:49 GMT)

Nobody on this earth can cut or dropped mahela and sanga...

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