Sanath Jayasuriya set to take over as Sri Lanka’s chief selector

Sanath Jayasuriya is set to take over as Sri Lanka’s chief selector once more, a little over a year after he stepped down from the role. The board has virtually confirmed Jayasuriya’s appointment, but is waiting on the sports minister’s approval before it makes a formal announcement.

“In wanting to take Sri Lankan cricket to a new path, we have put some changes in place,” SLC president Thilanga Sumathipala told Divaina. “As such, we are expecting to appoint Sanath Jayasuriya as the new chairman of selectors.”

Former wicketkeeper-batsman Romesh Kaluwitharana and former offspinner Ranjith Madurasingha are also expected to be part of the committee, according to SLC vice president Mohan de Silva.

Jayasuriya will replace Aravinda de Silva, who had only signed on for a two-month role ahead of the World T20. SLC has not finalised the Jayasuriya-led committee’s term, but “hopefully,” Mohan de Silva said, “it will be up to the next [2019] World Cup.”

The SLC vice president also said that while Aravinda’s committee is due to select the Test squad for an upcoming England tour, it will now do so in consultation with Jayasuriya, “in order to provide continuity”.

With present selectors Kumar Sangakkara and Lalith Kaluperuma out of the country, Jayasuriya will effectively become a selector of that committee, before he takes over the reins at the end of April.

Jayasuriya previously held the post from January 2013 to March 2015. During that period, Sri Lanka won a World T20 and a Test series in England, both in 2014, before suffering a quarter-final exit at the 2015 World Cup. It was Jayasuriya’s committee that formalised Angelo Mathews’ assumption of the Test and ODI captaincy. However, the period had also been beset by public disagreements between Jayasuriya and senior players – particularly Mahela Jayawardene.

Former Sri Lanka seamer Eric Upashantha, who had served in the previous Jayasuriya-led committee, has been linked to the forthcoming announcement as well.

Sri Lanka have major tours on the horizon. Following the three-Test tour of England, Australia are scheduled to visit Sri Lanka for a full tour in July and August. An away tour to South Africa is also scheduled at the end of the year.

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