Inside Story

Pramodaya’s presence as selector on tour makes Sri Lanka Players ‘Uncomfortable’

Written by N Krishnamurthy

Pramodaya Wickramasinghe’s presence as selector on tour in the ongoing West Indies tour has made majority of senior players ‘increasingly uncomfortable’, Cricket Age reliably learns.

As per the Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC), Pramodaya has traveled to West Indies with the team as former selector. According to Sports Ministry, meanwhile, he has been named as chief selector, replacing Asantha De Mel. However, neither Cricket Board nor Sports Ministry wants to say it officially!

Sri Lanka has already lost T20I and ODI series in the tour, while two tests are to be played next.¬† According to insiders in the dressing room, Pramodaya’s presence as selector on tour has created tension among senior players.

In 2017, Pramodaya, a member of the 1996 World Cup winning team, had said that certain members of the Sri Lankan team had fixed games for money. In response, more than 40 players had signed the petition, challenging  Pramodaya to prove his allegations.

“Sensing the tension between players and Pramodaya, SLC requested West Indies board to arrange a separate place for him to watch the match and they have agreed. Even then, the fact that he is selector on tour, it makes players uncomfortable” an insider told Cricket Age.

“Because of that ugly controversy in the past, senior players are feeling uncomfortable with his presence. It has impacted their on field performance big time, as most of the players are not able to play with freedom because of Pramodaya’s dominant behavior” insider added.

Pramodaya and head coach Micky Arthur’s attempts to take credit for young players like Pathum Nissanka and Ashen Bandara impressive performance has also drawn the criticism.

“Both they haven’t even watch these two players before in domestic cricket. It was Chaminda Mendis, who recommended both the players and fought for them. It’s shameful that both Pramodaya and Arthur are taking someone else credit” the insider added further.

Some of the blunders of Pramodaya and Arthur have resulted Sri Lanka’s drubbing in both T20Is and ODI series. It looks like they were following someone’s orders from Sri Lanka in persisting with Dinesh Chandimal and Thisara Perera, even after continues failures. Chandimal, not even a proper test player now, surprisingly played both the shorter formats series, just like Perera. Instead of their game, both the players relies on their political connections now and it was visible that they managed to get the backing during the recently concluded series.

“Both Pramodaya and Arthur were told to not appoint Angelo Mathews as T20 captain, terming it as regressive decision. However, they didn’t listen and Sri Lanka lost T20 series comprehensively” the insider added further.

Now, Sri Lanka sits on the top in the T20 ICC Rankings, but from the bottom (placed on 10th position).

 

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N Krishnamurthy