Colombo, Aug 29 – The Sri Lanka selection committee headed by Sanath Jayasuriya has decided to resign following the recent sequence of poor results. As they had already picked the squads for the last two ODIs and sole T20 of the India tour, they will remain in force in case any additions need to be made. The committee will step down after the tour concludes, two months after they had been given a six-month extension that would have taken them through until the end of the year.
“Sri Lanka Cricket chief selector Sanath Jayasuriya, as well as committee members Ranjith Madurasinghe, Romesh Kaluwitharana, Asanka Gurusinha and Eric Upashantha, have decided to resign,” Sri Lanka’s sports ministry said. “A combined letter bearing the names of the above committee has conveyed this decision to sports minister Dayasiri Jayasekara. According to the letter, their tenure will end on September 7.”
The announcement came two days after Sri Lanka lost the third ODI in Pallekele, and conceded the five-match series 3-0. They had also been beaten 3-0 in the Test series. Earlier in the year, there had been an unprecedented ODI series loss to Zimbabwe, an unprecedented Test loss to Bangladesh, a torrid tour of South Africa, and a disappointing Champions Trophy campaign, ESPN Cricinfo reported.
The past few months have seen substantial pressure mount on Jayasuriya’s committee to step down. Heavily criticised for making too many changes, having no clear vision, and failing to persist with talented players, the losses during the India tour had seen public perception of the committee sink to new lows. Jayasuriya has always been a hands-on chief selector, but there have also been suggestions from within the team that he repeatedly overstepped his bounds. It was not uncommon to see him advising players in the approach to, or during, games.
This was Jayasuriya’s second stint as chief selector. Counting his first tenure, which ran for two years, he has had the job for three of the past four years.