Inside Story

Gajaba Pitigala, Dilshan De Silva accused of manipulating Sri Lanka’s junior selection committee finalization process

Written by Sumit Seth

Gajaba Pitigala and Dilshan De Silva – junior selectors in the existing selection committee – have been accused of manipulating the Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) new panel finalization process, in order to remain on their posts. Cricket Age learns that both of them are going behind politicians and through them are trying to put pressure on SLC officials.

The tenure of present junior selection committee, headed by Ranjith Madurusinghe, was originally slated to expire on May 31. However, the SLC has extended it’s tenure until July 15.

“The board won’t get bogged down with this kind of pressure tactics. We have finalized the list by following the proper procedure (writing clubs for the nominations) and Sports Ministry’s guidelines” a top SLC official told Cricket Age.

Both Pitigala and Dilshan De Silva were constantly in the centre of the various controversies in last few months.

Pitigala, the present secretary of Galle CC, has been on the loggerheads with SLC administrators for some time now, due to certain irregularities in his club. The English cricket fans have complained to SLC and have requested for the intervene, claiming that the Galle CC has not returned their payments of purchased tickets after the cancellation of the England-Sri Lanka test series in March due to Covid-19.

Dilshan De Silva, meanwhile, was blamed for that famous whiskey bottles saga during Sri Lanka U19 team’s Bangladeh tour few months ago. Dilshan was also banned for the life by the Sri Lanka School Cricket Association (SLSCA) few months ago due to certain wrongdoings!

Apart from Pitigala and De Silva, two more people from the SLSCA – named Viraj and Suraj – are also lobbying big time to be included in the junior selection committee.

“It’s unfortunate, as there are already 6 Provincial Schools Selection Coordinators in the system, who are getting paid by the SLC. Even Viraj himself is overseeing Southern region as one of the coordinator. Even then, they are trying to make their way through various tactics” an expert in Sri Lanka domestic cricket told Cricket Age.

On June 30, Cricket Age had published that the Sports Ministry has sent a letter to SLC, instructing that all the junior selectors needs to resign from their posts as clubs, district and provincial cricket associations to fulfill the criteria.

“This is a condition, the honorable Sports minister has mentioned in the letter and we have prepared the final list of these five members, after consulting with them” the SLC top official had said.


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Sumit Seth