Sanath Jayasuriya was reappointed chairman of Sri Lanka’s four-member senior selection committee on Wednesday (April 27). His team includes Romesh Kaluwitharana, the former wicketkeeper, Ranjith Madurasinghe and Eric Upashantha, and they will take charge on May 1.
Jayasuriya replaces Aravinda de Silva at the top. De Silva, who had signed a two-month contract, along with Kumar Sangakkara, Kaluwitharana and Madurasinghe had replaced the panel headed by Kapila Wijegunawardene on March 8 after Sri Lanka failed to do much in their tours to New Zealand and India and in the Asia Cup. The objective of the de Silva-led committee was to pick a team that could successfully defend the World Twenty20 title in India. But, in the absence of Lasith Malinga, who has played just one game since sustaining in a knee injury in November last year, Sri Lanka failed to qualify for the semifinals.
While the absence of Sangakkara, who is currently representing Surrey in the English County, from the new committee was expected, Jayasuriya’s reappointment means that Sri Lanka Cricket have gone to the man who was at the helm of the panel when the team achieved tremendous success.
Jayasuriya was first appointed as chairman of the selection committee in January 2013. Between his appointment in late January that year and his resignation soon after the 2015 World Cup, Sri Lanka won 56 of their 102 matches across three formats. It included a golden stretch in 2014 when they won the Asia Cup and World T20 in Bangladesh, and prevailed across three formats over England in a famous away performance.
Jayasuriya’s panel back then included Pramodya Wickramasinghe, Hashan Tillakaratne, Upashantha and Chaminda Mendis. The entire panel resigned days before completing their term after Navin Dissanayake, the then sports minister, and Sidath Wettimuny, the interim committee chairman, criticised the selection after Sri Lanka lost to South Africa in the World Cup quarterfinal.
Sri Lanka’s next assignment is their tour to England where they are scheduled to play three Tests, five ODIs and one T20I between May 19 and July 5.