Jayasuriya back to lead selection panel

Sanath Jayasuriya

Sri Lanka Cricket has confirmed the return of Sanath Jayasuriya as chief selector, little more than a year since he stepped down from the role. The board had expressed a desire to reinstall Jayasuriya as chief selector for several weeks but was awaiting the sports minister’s approval, which it has now received. The new selection panel takes office on May 1 and will serve for two years.

The other members of the four-person panel are former wicketkeeper-batsman Romesh Kaluwitharana, who was once Jayasuriya’s opening partner; former fast bowler Eric Upashantha, who has worked in a Jayasuriya-led committee in the past; and former offspinner Ranjith Madurasinghe, who is a member of the present selection committee under Aravinda de Silva. Jayasuriya had also joined de Silva’s panel in the weeks preceding his appointment “in order to provide continuity”, in SLC secretary Mohan de Silva’s words.

The Test squad to England is likely to be selected by the de Silva-led committee, as the team is due to depart on May 4. However, Jayasuriya’s panel is set to take over in time for when the limited-overs squads for the tour are named.

Jayasuriya previously held the post from January 2013 to March 2015 and developed a reputation for being a hands-on selector, as he was often seen around the team during tours and training sessions. During that period, Sri Lanka won a World T20 and a Test series in England, both in 2014, before exiting the 2015 World Cup in the quarter-finals. It was Jayasuriya’s committee that formalised Angelo Mathews’ ascension to the Test and ODI captaincy. However, the period was also beset by public disagreements between Jayasuriya and senior players, who have now retired.

Beyond the trip to England, Sri Lanka have other major series on their horizon in the coming year. They are scheduled to host Australia in July and August, before departing for a full tour of South Africa in December.

(Source: ESPN CricInfo)