Sports Minister backs Sri Lanka’s World Cup squad selection
Sports Minister Harin Fernando has backed the Sri Lankan squad picked by the SLC’s selection committee for the upcoming World Cup 2019.
The minister said that he believes the team which has been selected has a good balance overall and that the selection committee had made their choices on the basis that nine batsmen including all-rounders are needed if the team is to chase big totals.
Speaking exclusively to Ada Derana, he said that Sri Lanka usually performs better at tournaments when it is considered as the underdog.
He urged all Sri Lankan cricket fans to support their team, which he says would go a long way in helping the team reach the final stages of the tournament.
Fernando said that the reason why certain big names have been omitted from the final list is due to the fact that current form was taken into consideration when selecting the squad.
“If players who are not in form are selected, even then accusations are leveled. Therefore I think that the selection committee has done the best that they can,” he said.
Sri Lanka Cricket this week announced their World Cup squad for the World Cup 2019, shocking many with their team combination.
Dimuth Karunaratne, who played his last ODI match back in 2015 against England, will lead the Sri Lankan side in this year’s World Cup while former skipper Dinesh Chandimal who has been one of the most successful cricketers for Sri Lanka has been left out.
Wicketkeeper-batsman Niroshan Dickwella, who was struggling in South Africa, and another former captain and veteran Upul Tharanga have alsobeen axed from the squad.
Former Sri Lankan World Cup-winning captain and current minister Arjuna Ranatunga had also criticized the team selected by the panel for the World Cup, scheduled to be hosted by England and Wales, from 30 May to 14 July 2019.