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April 27, 2014
Sanath Jayasuriya, the Sri Lanka chief selector, has outlined the team's need for fast-bowling allrounders for next year's World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, if they are to repeat the success they had in the T20 version in Bangladesh.
"Conditions are different to what we had in Bangladesh and we need to find good fast bowling all-rounders," Jayasuriya said. "We have about 25 ODIs from now until the World Cup and we need to identify the players who will make the final squad and give them the maximum exposure in these matches."
Sri Lanka's preparations for the ODI World Cup kick off with the tour of Ireland and England in May during which they are scheduled to play seven ODIs apart from Tests and T20s. They will play another three ODIs in July when South Africa tour the country.
Sri Lanka are currently on a high, having secured both the Asia Cup as well as the World T20 in the last couple of months. But Jayasuriya was saddened that after doing all the leg work to get Paul Farbrace as the coach, Farbrace turned his back on the team by going back to England.
"That has been the biggest disappointment for me since I assumed the post of chief selector one-and-a-half years ago," Jayasuriya said. "We were doing so well with Farbrace, it is a bitter pill to swallow losing him to England, a country where we are due to make a tour. He knows all our strengths and weaknesses and England will certainly be ready for us, but I am sure our coaches with the help of the senior players will be able to counter that successfully."
Since Jayasuriya took over as chief selector he has gradually changed the pattern of the selectors who are no longer left idle, but are given the task of watching matches from school (under-19) through to national level.
"We had to change the whole concept of what the past selection committees had been doing and the results are showing," Jayasuriya said. "I have this habit of keeping fit since my playing days and I train with the national team. This way I have built a good rapport with the players as well as the coaches and I know exactly what they require and what needs to be done."
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