Exclusive

Former Selectors picks Sri Lanka Squad Hours before team’s departure for West Indies tour

Written by N Krishnamurthy

It’s a complete chaos in Sri Lanka cricket on already month long stretched ‘appointing national selectors’ drama. It all started when Asantha De Mel was removed after two successive Galle defeats against England. Immediately within few hours itself, as if interested parties were long looking for the opportunity, Pramodaya Wickramasinghe’s name was proposed as chief selector, replacing Asantha.

At that time, Pramodaya’s appointment looked nothing more than a formality, as he posses all the qualities to be a Sri Lanka Chief selector – political backing, SLC nod and he does Banana cultivation too!

However, three weeks later, SLC is yet to officially announce his name!

And, it has created a big havoc! Sri Lanka Team is scheduled to depart for West Indies on February 23. However, till now no official squad announced! Forget squad, there are no selectors names announced even!

Then, what about the touring squad? Well, it has become a joke now!

Yesterday, Dasun Shanaka XI and Dimuth Karunaratne XI played a practice match at SSC. In any part of the world, even in Oman, practice match being played for the purpose of selecting the final squad. And to pick a final squad, you need selectors! But, Sri Lanka cricket has no selectors right now!

So, yesterday, West Indies probables played a practice match without the presence of the selectors! Comedy of errors started after the match though!

Strangely, after Asantha’s exit, two other selectors of the previous committee – Chaminda Mendis and Pramodaya – also automatically became ‘former‘.

However, yesterday, SLC ended up picking the final West Indies touring squad through these two former selectors! They were asked to come at SSC and in a haphazard manner they picked three different squads.

So, who’s responsible for this perfect mess? Cricket Age tried to find Answer and following are the replies from concerned authorities:

SLC: It’s beyond our control. We sent the selectors list and are still waiting for the approved name. In this scenario, what can we do?

National Sports Council (NSC): We have nothing to do with this. It’s comes under National Sports Selection Committee (NSSC).

National Sports Selection Committee (NSSC): We are not satisfied with the candidates list, which SLC has sent to us.

When Cricket Age investigated further, some shocking facts revealed! According to the insiders at NSSC, the committee members are divided over Pramodaya’s appointment as chief selector.¬†Cricket Age understands that some committee members have preferred former chief selector Kapila Wijegoonawardene for the job. However, general opinion about Wijegoonawardene that he was suspected of leaking insides to media in his previous tenure. Then, Brendon Kuruppu name has also entered the fray! To make things worse, a bit and piece shorter format all-rounder, who still perform once in 10 matches even after decade of international cricket, is also lobbying to oust Pramodaya from the race! This mediocre all-rounder¬†is said to be furious with Pramodya after the latter exposed him for failing a recent fitness test but bribing the SLC physiotherapist and masseur into passing him. Subsequently, both the physiotherapist and masseur involved in the test were sacked.

With all these internal fights, it’s highly unlikely to see a new Sri Lanka chief selector anytime soon. SLC, it seems, has already realized it, that’s why they hurriedly assembled two former selectors and picked squads few hours before the departure!

 

About the author

N Krishnamurthy