For the first time in eleven years there will be a National Cricket Selection Committee sans the name of Don Anurasiri.
However, the new list of five names would carry the name of Matara District Parliamentarian Sanath Jayasuriya -- in all probability as the Chairman of Selectors.
When asked why a politician was named on the selection panel, Sports Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage cleared the air with the answer: “The selection committee is not a sports body. So that question does not arise at this point. However, still there is no law against a politician being a member of a sports body. When we were about to present that clause in parliament, former Sri Lanka captain Arjuna Ranatunga filed a case in the Supreme Court and he got a verdict in favour of him. Now we are in the process of directing this claim to the effect that politicians cannot be a part of sports bodies and we have requested the Attorney General’s views on it.”
The new selection panel will probably also carry the likes of Jayantha Amerasinghe, Ranjith Madurasinghe, Eric Upashantha, Hemantha Wickramaratne, Vinothan John and Jayantha Seneviratne.
When asked about Don Anurasiri’s exclusion, the minister said, “Definitely Don Anurasiri will not be a selector this time. He has been there long enough.”
However the panel of selectors will carry two full time selectors while the chairman of selectors would get the opportunity of being a co-opted member of the SLC ex-co.
The new selection committee will have the task of re-shaping Sri Lanka’s cricket future, as they will be entrusted with the task of looking into the possibilities of segregating the sides into two segments – Test and Limited Overs.
Meanwhile, it is almost certain that Sri Lanka’s first Test cricket captain, Bandula Warnapura, will be the next Chief Executive Officer of Sri Lanka Cricket.
An SLC insider said, “SLC is seriously considering Bandula to take up the post. It needs a strong personality of that nature – a person who has played the game at that level and also has good administrative skills. SLC has to agree upon the terms and conditions. Once it is done, he could be appointed.”
“When a person like Bandula is at the helm, the elected committee can pursue the policy decisions while the CEO can run the cricket in the country.”
The insider said, “While going with the next CEO we are also thinking of grooming someone who is also in the picked list, but that is a project for the future.”
Warnapura (59) represented Nalanda College and went to be the first Test cricket captain of Sri Lanka and also held the posts of Director Cricket Operations, Manager Sri Lanka Cricket team and also served as the Sri Lanka coach for a limited period.
He is likely to take over the position on April 1.
At present he serves the Asian Cricket Council as Cricket Development Manager.