Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) said it would be happy to allow the National Sports Selection Committee (NSSC) of the Ministry of Sports to appoint the next cricket selection committee, if the NSSC would also take responsibility for the failures and successes of the national team.
SLC had sent a list of ten names, including that of current national cricket selection committee chief Pramodya Wickramasinghe to the Sports Ministry for approval, but the Daily Mirror understands that the NSSC, headed by Chief of Defence Staff General Shavendra Silva, had not been satisfied with the list.
“We have not been informed if the names had been approved or not. But we have followed the same procedure as specified in our constitution when it comes to nominating selectors,” SLC Secretary Mohan de Silva told the Daily Mirror.
“If the names we propose are not satisfactory to the NSSC, we would be happy for them to appoint the new cricket selection committee, as long as they take the responsibility for the failures and successes of the team,” de Silva added, tongue in cheek.
Among the ten names forwarded by SLC were Romesh Kaluwitharana, Hemantha Wickramaratne, Gamini Wickramasinghe, Vinothan John, Shantha Kalavitigoda, Uvais Karnian, Waruna Waragoda, Hemantha Devapriya and Ranjith Madurusinghe.
A top official of the NSSC, which advises the Minister on national selections across sports, confirmed to the Daily Mirror that the committee had not outright rejected the nominees forwarded by SLC, as earlier reported, but instead had requested a more exhaustive list of names to be considered.
“We believe that there are more people who may also be capable of being a part of the selection committee, and we wanted some of those names also included onto this list,” the official said. “It does not mean those in this list have been rejected but we want more names to consider.”
“This is not only for cricket, but in any sport, we want the best possible people in the selection committee,” the official added.
Daily Mirror also reached out to former national captain Sanath Jayasuriya, who is a member of the NSSC, to confirm if the names had been rejected as earlier reported and to understand the considerations being made in choosing the next set of selectors, but he declined to comment, stating he could not individually remark on what decisions being made as a committee.
SLC had forwarded the best possible options available, De Silva added, with some former cricketers turning down the job when approached.
“We have forwarded the best names possible, and we believe Pramodya has done a good job. We also face challenges finding nominees, as some former cricketers are unwilling to commit to being a selector, while others have conflicts of interest. Considering that, we have sent the best 10 names who more that fit the criteria.”
De Silva alleged there was a move to destabilize SLC through this issue.
“I see this as a certain individual trying to politicize SLC,” de Silva said.
He claimed that such moves would be part of a dangerous trend that could result in SLC suffering the same fate as the Football Federation of Sri Lanka that has been suspended for third party interference last week.
“The ICC articles of association is quite clear that each member country should at all times ensure complete autonomy from government or other interference, including operational matters, selection and management of teams in the appointment of coaches or support personnel,” he added.
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