Selectors in a quandary on the final squad

T20 World cup in the West Indies
By S.R. Pathiravithana

Twenty-year-old NCC and Ruhuna batsman Dinesh Chandimal looks a certainty of making it into the final squad of the World Cup T-20 tournament which is scheduled to take place in the West Indies from, 30 April to May 16.

A Question mark hangs over Jayasuriya making it into the final squad

Chandimal who was also selected as the Bata-Sunday Times Schoolboy Cricketer of the year 2009 from Ananda College, Colombo was a prolific scorer in the ensuing Club season and the Provincial Cricket Tournaments.

The national selectors met on Friday and narrowed the list of 30 down to twenty players and the names discussed in earnest included Upul Tharanga, Tillekeratne Dilshan, Sanath Jayasuriya, Kumar Sangakkara (captain), Mahela Jayawardena, Dinesh Chandimal, Chamara Kapugedera, Angelo Mathews, Tissara Perera, Muttiah Muralitharan, Suraj Randiv, Ajantha Mendis, Dilhara Fernando Lasith Malinga, Chamara Welagedera, Nuwan Kulasekera, Isuru Udana, Jeewan Mendis, Jeewantha Kulatunga and Chinthaka Jayasinghe.

However still there is a question mark over the name of veteran 40-year-old Sanath Jayasuriya making it into the final fifteen. It is likely to be decided after a tele-conference with skipper Kumar Sangakkara who at present is in India engaged in the Indian premier League tournament and Coach Trevor Bayliss who is taking a break, back in Australia on Monday.

The ICC deadline to name the final list of fifteen players is Tuesday March 30. Jayasuriya had a very ordinary inter-provincial T20 tournament and was also axed from the Mumbai Indians playing XI after a string of failures.

Now that the younger duo Upul Tharanga and T.M. Dilshan have almost forged a permanent partnership at the top it is very unlikely that Jayasuriya would get the nod as an opener. If at all he may be included as a bowling allrounder and a middle order bat, but even in this slot there are promising Angelo Mathews and Tissara Perera. Also in the fray is former Thomian skipper Jeewan Mendis, a good success during the club and the inter-provincial season not only with the bat but also with his leg spin. He has been among the wickets right through.

The other point is that if Jayasuriya is dropped from the touring party to the West Indies it is very unlikely that the aging genius would make it back to the international playing arena and may also miss the central contract along with the other veteran Chaminda Vaas who is another certainty to be overlooked for the central contract for the 2010-2011 season.

However Vaas who is now enjoying a very successful stint with the Deccan Chargers also had a steady inter-provincial tournament, but was overlooked by the selectors on their age policy. Sri Lanka – the losing finalist of last year’s tournament opens the proceedings on April 30 when they take on New Zealand in a group ‘B’ encounter at the Providence Stadium in Guyana while the West Indies will play Ireland in a Group ‘D’ match later on.

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