Sri Lanka tour of England and Ireland 2014 March 25, 2014

SL selectors forced to name preliminary squad


Sri Lanka's selectors are incensed at having had to name a preliminary squad for the tours of Ireland and the UK, six weeks before the first match is scheduled, due to the length of the visa process. The UK government requires 15 working days to grant visas for Sri Lankan citizens, with the Irish government needing a similar timespan.

SLC announced a 26-man preliminary squad on Tuesday, but chief selector Sanath Jayasuriya said the length of the visa process put Sri Lanka at a disadvantage. The squad was named while both Sri Lanka's campaign at the World Twenty20, and the domestic first-class season, were ongoing.

"I would have much preferred to wait until the World T20 and Premier League finished, but unfortunately we can't do that," he said. "The visa process is so long, we are going through a difficult time as a selection committee. The board says we have to send a list of 26 players, and we are trying to pick the best possible players, but sometimes we might miss one or two players.

"With the public holidays we will have next month, it will be the first week of May before our players get their visas - that's just before they are scheduled to leave. This is the latest we could have left it."

Almost all cricketers in the preliminary squad would make the trip, Jayasuriya said, but he left leeway for a small number of players to either be added to or removed from the final list. There are few surprises in the pool, which does not distinguish between formats. Jehan Mubarak's omission from the national squad provides the only real point of contention, after he struck 1134 runs at an average of 103.09 in 15 first-class innings this year.

Ashan Priyanjan, Chaturanga de Silva and Kithuruwan Vithanage, who have all featured in the national side over the past two months, have been named, but batsman Angelo Perera does not find a place. Fast bowler Vishwa Fernando, who had been on Test tours to the UAE and Bangladesh, also features in the squad.

SLC simultaneously announced a preliminary squad for the A team tour to Ireland and the UK, which begins in mid-July. That team will be led by Upul Tharanga, who also captained the home tour against the England Lions in February. Mubarak has been named in that squad, and there is a chance Test opener Dimuth Karunaratne will also play for the A team, as he did against the Lions. Offspinner Tharindu Kaushal, however, has not been included in the squad. He has 39 wickets at 23.30 this season.

The national team begins its tour in Europe on May 6, with the first of two ODIs against Ireland. They will also then play a T20 international, five ODIs and two Tests against England.

Sri Lanka preliminary squad: Angelo Mathews, Dinesh Chandimal, Mahela Jayawardene, Kumar Sangakkara, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Dimuth Karunarante, Kaushal Silva, Kusal Perera, Lahiru Thirimanne, Prasanna Jayawardene, Ashan Priyanjan, Kithuruwan Vithanage, Chaturanga de Silva, Seekkuge Prasanna, Dilruwan Perera, Rangana Herath, Sachithra Senanayake, Ajantha Mendis, Thisara Perera, Nuwan Kulasekara, Lasith Malinga, Suranga Lakmal, Dhammika Prasad, Shaminda Eranga, Nuwan Pradeep, Vishwa Fernando

A team preliminary squad: Upul Tharanga, Udara Jayasundera, Niroshan Dickwella, Dimuth Karunaratne, Jehan Mubarak, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Rumesh Buddika, Angelo Perera, Asela Gunaratna, Ashan Priyanjan, Suraj Randiv, Seekkuge Prasanna, Ramith Rambukwella, Sachith Pathirana, Chaminda Bandara, Ishan Jayaratne, Dushmantha Chameera, Charith Jayampathi, Dhammika Prasad, Vishwa Fernando, Lahiru Gamage, Mahela Udawatte

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

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  • Dummy4 on March 28, 2014, 2:54 GMT

    bring specialist t20 players to t20......mahroof,kapu,mubarak,lokuhettige etc...we need mahroof for the 2015 wrld cup...i dont think chandi or thiri suits at no 5 spot...they cant get quick bring mubarak...or dilshan might be drafted at no 5..then let kusal,thiri get a experienc player at the middle overs and dili can get quick runs

  • Sarath on March 27, 2014, 6:00 GMT

    instead. There should be something special about a batter with a 1st Cla Ave of 55+ after 80 odd 1st Cla Innings, that is why he managed to perform well in SA together with S'weera & Mathews where all flat-track-bullies failed 2011. It is also pathetic to see, same old names are included in the preliminary squads for the coming tour of England. I feel very sorry for brilliant batters like, Roshen Silva,AngeloPerera,BhanukaRajapaksha ,Gayan Maneshan,NiroshanDickwella,Kusal Mendis,Umesh Karunarathna(spinning all-rounder),MalindaPushpakumara(left-arm spinner),Tharindu Khausal(off-spinner), ..that are some of the most deserving players to represent the Country who have maintained consistency from very young age..Pls compare stats of these quality players with that of some of these very average players (included in these preliminary squads) continuously given foreign tours being very average performers in the Domestic Cricket.

  • Dummy4 on March 27, 2014, 5:18 GMT

    Another drop out is M Warnapura who batted well against England A in tests.

  • manjula on March 26, 2014, 10:08 GMT

    I cant understand why they don't bring back Munaweera for a squad like this.after the bangaldesh T20 he is no more in a practice match even. There are players who have done well in domestic level but not even considered.

  • Dummy4 on March 26, 2014, 9:27 GMT

    SL need to bring back a few experienced players so that they can prepare for when Mahela, Sanga, Dilly, and Herath retire. Bring back the likes of Thushara, Randiv, Maharoof, Mubarak, Kandamby, D Fernando, Tharanga, maybe even C Silva, Kapugedara etc.

  • Kasun on March 26, 2014, 7:27 GMT

    Where is Namal Rajapaksha and Yoshitha Rajapaksha? Are they yet to debut? The best two sportsmen in Sri Lanka who are the best in any sport.

  • Dummy4 on March 26, 2014, 6:52 GMT

    Where are Akila Dananjaya, Tharindu Kaushal, Dilshan Munaweera, Farveez Maharoof etc.? And despite Mubarak's previous faliures in international cricket, his current form is sublime. Averaging over 100 in 15 innings is superb, and he deserves another chance at the top level, especially since Chandimal is in pathetic form. Not to mention he is a useful bowler and superb fielder...

  • Roshan on March 26, 2014, 5:01 GMT

    Jehan Mubarak should be drafted into the test and ODI squads. We all know he had his chances but failed. Having said that however, if selection is based on a players current form, then he deserves another chance. With Chandimal out of sorts, Muba would be a good back-up. Chris Roger was selected to play for Aussie at the age of 36, and it proved to be a very good selection. Therefore, age shouldn't be a problem if the player is fit and performing to expectation. Also, with the impending retirements of Sanga and Mahela, Muba could fill and his experience would be vital for the team. Food for thought for the selectors!

  • stich on March 26, 2014, 4:35 GMT

    Would like to see Mubarak in there. he is a talented bat, fielder and useful bowler. he has a good 3-4 years of cricket left in him.

  • manjula on March 26, 2014, 4:10 GMT

    what is this ?where is Munaweera? want give him to come.useless ??????? he has scored 143 in Premier Limited Over. Please think of him in future.he is a talented player.

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