Jayasuriya questions Perera's work ethic
Sanath Jayasuriya, the Sri Lanka chief selector, has questioned Thisara Perera's work ethic and asked him to work harder as the board moved to deny the allrounder permission to participate in the Big Bash League. Perera had applied for the no-objection certificate required by players to take part in a foreign league, but Sri Lanka Cricket refused to provide it, largely on the recommendation of Jayasuriya's selection panel.
"We are not giving him permission to play in the Big Bash. He has to work and stay in Sri Lanka," Jayasuriya told ESPNcricinfo. "The reason is poor form. He's been in very poor form with his bowling and batting. He needs to work on some things with the coaches in Sri Lanka.
"Before he thinks of playing for Big Bash and all these things, he needs to do the work in Sri Lanka, if he wants to become a good allrounder. That's what the selectors think."
Perera was in Sri Lanka's limited-overs squad for the December series against Pakistan in the UAE, but was dropped after the third ODI. He hit only 13 runs in the three one-dayers and was wayward with the ball, though he did take six wickets in five matches, including the two Twenty20 internationals.
Jayasuriya's selection panel had already sent Perera a message about his work ethic when it omitted him from the squad for the ODI tri-series in the West Indies in June. Although he made significant gains in the home series against South Africa that followed, he has allowed his game to slip again, Jayasuriya said.
"After dropping him from that West Indies series, he played really well. He worked hard on his bowling and batting and everything. But now, he needs to work hard again."
Jayasuriya has designs for Perera to become a Test allrounder, particularly as the selectors do not want to overburden Angelo Mathews with the third seamer's job in addition to his roles as captain and batsman. Jayasuriya said Perera's path to regaining form should begin with England Lions' tour of Sri Lanka in February. Perera has been asked to train with the Sri Lanka A team in the interim.
"He doesn't need BBL match practice," Jayasuriya said. "If he wants match practice, he can get it during the England A series. I want him to play Tests for Sri Lanka, not just ODIs and T20s. He has that potential, but he needs to work hard."
Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent. He tweets here