Selectors and selections
A new band of selectors have been elected and performed one of their initial duties of picking a squad for the Sri Lankan 'A' team's tour of England. This is a very important tour as an English experience is so vital in a players learning process. In my opinion the selectors have stuck with a lot of known players.

Far too many players are enjoying the luxury of 'A' team tours and not progressing in their game. These tours should be geared to produce players who can go on to make it into the national team or fill in with success, whenever they are called up or given the break. It is therefore absolutely necessary to pick players who back themselves with performance, good current form and have potential to perform at the highest level, in the thinking of the selectors. This tour will clash with the national teams tour to Australia. A majority of players for that sojourn have automatically selected themselves. The selectors have opted for more experience. They have gambled on the tour of just two tests. They will have to keep options open thereafter, to avoid the situation of a number of senior players finishing around the same time and no quality individuals to fill their shoes.

There are noticeable features in the 'A' team selection. Most of the outstanding players of the recent under nineteen World Cup tour and home internationals have been omitted. Obviously the selectors have not seen them and perhaps not heard of them. They should be given the exposure from now on or they will fall by the wayside.

On the other side of the coin there are at least half-a-dozen in that squad who have not made use of the opportunities given. They have been thoroughly inconsistent but somehow manage to find places in the touring parties. They are the players enjoying the joy ride! The selectors must be tough and once a lot of players have been exposed adequately and are not coming up to expectations they must be sent back to perform in domestic games. Perform and perform to really prove their value for a recall.

Now there are as many as seven selectors. In my opinion far too many. The ideal situation is to have five. From what I gather this is a compromise between Sri Lanka Cricket and the Ministry of Sports. No way should that happen. It is a common occurrence, but that only leads to unsuitable people getting into important positions.

Lalith Kaluperuma is the only survivor from the old brigade. He should have continued as Chairman. There has to be continuity in selection policies. It doesn't help the players when that does not happen. Kaluperuma also spends time watching games - a luxury most selectors cannot afford. (To give of their valuable time) Ashantha de Mel has done the selectors job before. But can he put in the time required for this purpose! He had better, because Sri Lanka Cricket is walking on a tight rope at present and the Chairman has plenty of answers to provide.

Don Arunasiri and Ranjith Madurusinghe have also occupied the selectors positions in the past. The former spin bowlers, together with veteran K.M. Nelson will be the ones who matter. In every team or touring party seventy five to eighty percent of the players pick themselves. They are good enough to be there.

The crucial task of the selectors is to make the correct choice in picking the rest. That is where Nelson, Madurusinghe and Arunasiri will play a major role. Pramodhaya Wickramasinghe is the youngest member and perhaps not ready for the task. It will be an experience for him and he will have to learn whilst on the job. Shabir Asgerally was a very attractive opening batsman who was a national poolist.

However since retirement some twenty years ago has not had any connection with the game at the top level. He is a very fine gentlemen, a pious individual but at this stage not suitable to guide the destinities of national selection.


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