National Cricket Selectors and Head Coach who were at loggerheads for several weeks have decided to iron out their differences and work towards a successful World Cup campaign in England.This was after Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) decided to retain the services of their beleaguered Head Coach Chandika Hathurusingha for the World Cup despite mounting pressure on the Board to remove him following a string of poor results.
The Boardâ€™s decision to keep Hathurusingha was based on the rationale that the financial cost of sacking him would be substantial. According to Hathurusinghaâ€™s contract, if he is to be removed prematurely, he must be compensated with a yearâ€™s salary or the salary for the remainder of the term.But the Board made a smart move by bringing in Asantha de Mel as Team Manager to mitigate the Hathurusingha effect on the players. De Mel, who is also Chairman of Selectors, will be the Selector on tour during the World Cup.
Hathurusinghaâ€“a former Sri Lanka opener turned high profile coachâ€“has had mediocre on-field success since taking over the team in January 2018, especially in the limited over format. But Boardâ€™s concerns were only partially performance-related. It was his attitude that became a major concern. He has been clashing with certain senior players in the side, including Angelo Mathews, the former Captain. His hostile relations with the Selectors saw him being removed as a Selector in January. He was later ordered to come back from South Africa at the end of the ODI leg there.
Upon Hathurusinghaâ€™s early return to the island from South Africa, where the national team is involved in their final international series before the World Cup, he met SLC President Shammi Silva to discuss his own plans and those that need to be implemented for a successful World Cup campaign. He also met with the Selectors to iron out their differences and work together towards a common goal.â€œWith the World Cup just around the corner, I donâ€™t think we should make any hasty decisions,â€ said Silva. â€œThere have been few misunderstandings and I am sure we can sort all these out and work as a team going forward.â€
De Mel said that they will leave their differences aside and set their sights on the World Cup. â€œOur prime concern right now is to get the best 15 players selected and then we will decide who will best fit to lead the side from among the players in the squad, â€œ he explained. â€œWe have no personal issues with him (Hathurusingha). We are ready to work together but this doesnâ€™t mean we will agree to everything the Coach says.â€
A four team Super Provincial Tournament will be played from April 4 to decide Sri Lankaâ€™s World Cup squad.The four teams are led by Dinesh Chandimal (Colombo), Lasith Malinga (Galle), Dimuth Karunaratne (Kandy) and Angelo Mathews (Dambulla).
The four teams will play each other once before the top two teams clash in the grand final on 11th April. All the matches will be played in Dambulla and Kandy.Teams for Super Provincial Tournament
Colombo: Dinesh Chandimal (Captain), Upul Tharanga (Vice-Captain), Avishka Fernando, Angelo Perera, Ashan Priyanjan, Kamindu Mendis, Seekkuge Prasanna, Akila Dananjaya, Suranga Lakmal, Asitha Fernando, Chamika Karunaratne, Chamara Silva, Mohammed Shiraz, Shehan Jayasuriya, Avishka Gunawardene (Head Coach), Charith Senanayake (Manager)
Standby Players: Vishva Chathuranga, Nipun Dananjaya, Kalana Perera, Tharindu Rathnayake, Nipun Ransika, Hashan Dumindu, Hasitha Boyagoda.
Kandy: Dimuth Karunarathne (Captain), Thisara Perera (Vice-Captain), Sadeera Samarawickrama, Pathum Nissanka, Priyamal Perera, Roshen Silva, Asela Gunaratne, Jeffrey Vandersay, Malinda Pushpakumara, Kasun Rajitha, Nuwan Pradeep, Chathuranga De Silva, Sachithra Senanayake, Dilesh Gunaratne, Manoj Sarathchandra, Piyal Wijethunga (Head Coach), Balan Aashirvardhan (Manager)
Standby Players: Tharindu Kaushal, Chamindu Wijesinghe, Dilruwan Perera, Kavishka Anjula, Jehan Daniel, Rohan Sanjaya, Sangeeth Cooray.
Galle: Lasith Malinga (Captain), Lahiru Thirimanne (Vice-Captain), Kusal Mendis, Sandun Weerakkody, Mahela Udawatte, Minod Bhanuka, Dhananjaya De Silva, Milinda Siriwardena, Nishan Peiris, Chamikara Edirisinghe, Dushmantha Chameera, Lahiru Madushanka, Sammu Ashan, Shehan Madushanka, Wanindu Hasaranga, Tilan Samaraweera (Head Coach), Shammi Gunasekara (Manager)
Standby Players: Nipun Karunanayake, Kamil Mishara, Nisala Tharaka, Maheesh Theekshana, Binura Fernando, Dhammika Prasad, Thikshila De Silva
Dambulla: Angelo Mathews (Captain), Niroshan Dickwella (Vice-Captain), Danushka Gunathilake, Oshada Fernando, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Jeewan Mendis, Dasun Shanaka, Lakshan Sandakan, Prabath Jayasuriya, Isuru Udana, Ishan Jayaratne, Sachithra Serasinghe, Vishwa Fernando, Ashen Bandara, Ramesh Mendis, Sumithra Warnakulasooriya (Head Coach), Vinothen John (Manager)
Standby Players: Dushan Vimukthi, Sonal Dinusha, Lahiru Gamage, Ramith Rambukwella, Kaushal Silva, Shiran Fernando, Lahiru Udara