SLC committee recommends five-man selection panel

Sri Lanka Cricket’s executive committee has recommended that the national selection panel be increased to five selectors, including two full-time selectors, when the sports minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage names a new panel at the end of the month. Sri Lanka’s present panel consists of three part-time selectors, with at least one usually accompanying the team for each series.

“We thought [we should] create a greater diversity of opinion, it would be better to increase the number of selectors to five,” SLC CEO Ajit Jayasekara said. “At the moment the selectors have their own source of income, and having two full-time selectors should improve the selection process as well.”

The new panel will likely be appointed for a period of a year, and one of their initial tasks will be to choose a new captain for the ODI and Test teams, after Mahela Jayawardene’s resignation from the post.

Aluthgamage has spoken out in favour of a split captaincy after Sri Lanka’s 3-0 loss to Australia in the Test series. Aluthgamage has also expressed desire to build a distinct team for each format, and he may appoint a panel that shares his vision for the team. Under the sports law, the minister must also approve each selection before the team is finalised.

“Whether or not to have a split captaincy is ultimately the selectors decision,” SLC secretary Nishantha Ranatunga said.

SLC has forwarded the names of 11 candidates to the minister, from among whom the new selection panel will be appointed. Sri Lanka’s sports law dictates that the sports minister must appoint the selection panel.

Current selectors, Ashantha de Mel, Don Anurasiri and Hemantha Wickremeratne are all on the SLC’s list, which also includes former players Hashan Tillakaratne and Mahes Goonatilleke. (Cricinfo)