Sri Lanka selectors must go, says Ranatunga (Lead)

January 16th, 2012 - 4:39 pm ICT by IANS  

Colombo, Jan 16 (IANS) Sri Lanka’s cricket selection panel should be axed following the team’s shabby showing in South Africa and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), former captain Arjuna Ranatunga says.

Ranatunga also accused the government of interfering with national cricket, resulting in some senior players making political comments instead of focusing on the game.

Sri Lanka have had a poor run in recent months, suffering a Test and One-Day International series loss in the UAE against Pakistan and later losing the Test series in South Africa.

The most humiliating loss was recorded in the ongoing One-Day International (ODI) series against South Africa.

Chasing Proteas’ 302 runs for victory in the second ODI, the Sri Lankans were bowled out for just 43 runs, their lowest total in limited overs cricket.

Ranatunga told Xinhua Monday that he suspected the current selection process for the national team was based on political considerations, not performance.

He also said that the national selectors made a huge blunder when they failed to pick in-form batsman Thilan Samaraweera for the Test series in South Africa.

“Samaraweera was not picked in the original squad but was later included as a replacement for an injured player. He went on to score two centuries and was the most consistent batsman in the series. The selectors should admit they made a blunder in the selection or they should either resign or be sacked,” said Ranatunga, now a politician.

Ranatunga led Sri Lanka to their only World Cup win in 1996. He attributed that success to the fact that the players did not face pressure from politicians or the board then.

He said a major overhaul of the Sri Lanka cricket board was needed to get the team back on track and to prepare them for the next World Cup.

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