SLC To bar selectors from going on overseas tours as ‘Managers’

Written by Sumit Seth

The top officials of Sri Lanka Cricket Board (SLC) have reportedly decided to bar selectors from going on overseas tours, Cricket Age exclusively learns. However, Chief selector Asantha Del Mel is likely to continue accompany national team as manager.

Since last one year, the SLC is sending selectors as managers on overseas tours. Accordingly, chief selector Asantha De Mel is associated with national team, while two other selectors Chaminda Mendis and Vinothen John are touring with Emerging and U19 teams respectively.

Cricket Age understands that the decision of sending selectors as managers was taken for monetary reasons, in order to save board money.

However, in recent months, the concept has been backfired big time, largely due to the manipulation and incompetence of U19 selector Farveez Maharoof and senior selector Vinothen John.

Maharoof, a former Sri Lanka allrounder, in particulary has destroyed game’s gentleman image big time, with his conduct. A multitasking person (he is also a commentator, analyst, presenter etc.) Maharoof, it seems, is interested more in developing contacts with various T20 League’s people around the world, than sincerely fulfilling his U19 manager job! A top SLC official confirmed Cricket Age that the board has received many complaints against Maharoof, over his involvement in non-cricket activities during the overseas tours with the U19 team. Recently, during Bangladeh tour, he had reportedly forced players to visit a garment factory in Dhaka, just to gain personal benefits.

More seriously, Maharoof’s appointment as U19 team manager has motivated players to focus more on consuming alcohol and carrying whiskey bottles and other accessories from overseas tours, instead of working on their games. It has revealed that during the recently concluded U19 World Cup in South Africa as well, few U19 players were drunked, in the knowledge of Maharoof.

Senior Selector Vinothen John, meanwhile, is unable to contribute, largely due to his incompetence and ‘playing safe‘ philosophy. His joyride to South Africa with the U19 team was meaningless, as he has no knowledge of junior level players. Moreover, he afraids to give his opinion on selection, even after being a senior selector, as he fears politically powerful U19 Coach Hashan Tillakaratne. And, it makes him only a ‘yes man‘ of Hashan on overseas tours.

Asantha De Mel, national chief selector and most incompetent and biggest manipulater, biased among all selectors, will however still be unaffected by SLC new stance, largely due to his so called ‘political connections‘.

Cricket Age understands that the selectors, who will be barred from going on overseas tours as managers, will be now instructed to travel to outstations to watch the domestic matches. SLC President Shammi Silva, who has taken some right ‘cricketing‘ decisions in recent times – most notably instructing domestic Club’s to keep 4mm grass on main wicket and use of SG balls in the ongoing four-day premier tournament – is on the opinion that it will (sending selector’s to outstation) help in unearthing new talents, especially from the north region!

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Sumit Seth