By Sa’adi Thawfeeq
SLC CEO Ashley de Silva
Sri Lanka Cricket, stuck with just four names to nominate for the post of national cricket selectors, have sent them to the Ministry of Sports for approval.
SLC CEO Ashley de Silva said: “We have already written to the Sports Ministry Secretary and submitted the names, and are waiting for a response.”
The names most likely will be put to the National Selection Committee, who will then submit it to the National Sports Council for final approval.
The Sports Law requires a sports body to submit at least 10 potential names to the Minister of Sports, from which the final selections will be made.
However, in this instance, the SLC has fallen short of the required numbers and sent only four names – three of which are already serving in the present committee: Ashantha de Mel, Chaminda Mendis and Vinothen John. The fourth name they have sent is that of former Sri Lanka fast bowler Pramodya Wickramasinghe.
“They are asking for 10 names but the problem is we also need to get the consent of those who want to serve in the committee,” said de Silva.
“The problem with our selection is most of the players who have played for the national team have just retired or gone overseas or they have conflicts of interest, as some are working in the mercantile sector. Most of them are working with us or some of them are working with clubs. Then there are some national cricketers who are coaching school teams. So when you go through the list, only a few of them are left to do this job and most of them have also served in committees previously,” he said.
“For instance, people like Hemantha Wickramaratne and Romesh Kaluwitharana have served in the committees recently, so the question is do you want to appoint them again?”
Explaining further how the names for the national men’s, women’s and junior selection committees were done, de Silva said: “We have nominated some of the national players for the junior national selection committee and for the men’s national selection committee and, some have been nominated also for the women’s. Altogether we have sent about 26 names: 12 for juniors, 10 for women, and four for men.”
Of the four names submitted for the men’s committee, there is an issue with one of them, Pramodya Wickramasinghe, on whether he should serve as a national selector as he has gone on record to accuse the national team of “unnatural match patterns” and player selections, as some of the players in the team are still playing.
“We have nominated the persons and the final decision is left to the Sports Minister, who can always reject and bring in any person whom he wants. We have submitted only the names of the people who have given their consent,” said de Silva.
“We are looking at either a three-member or four-member committee. Right now, we have three. Worst comes to the worst, we will stick with the three,” he said.