Sports

Why only Angelo, shouldn’t you resign too, media asks Hathurusingha

By Revatha Silva

Photos by Pradep Dambarage

Hathurusingha, Chandimal and Labrooy after the media briefing on Wednesday.

During round about half an hour of questioning by the media, what the impression the anxious Chandika Hathurusingha, Sri Lanka Coach, and their Chief of Selectors Graeme Labrooy indicated was that their relation with the outgoing skipper Angelo Mathews had, to say the least, been sour.

In fact, one journalist asked, ‘why only Angelo, shouldn’t you also resign.’ The question almost pushed Hathurusingha to the limit.

After losing to both Bangladesh and Afghanistan in the Asia Cup first-round, to be eliminated from the event in mere three days in UAE, Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) postponed the post-event media briefing in Colombo and, on Tuesday, sacked skipper Mathews prompting the latter save face by writing to the SLC CEO Ashley De Silva saying that he had been ‘made the scapegoat’ for a team’s defeat.

Mathews axed from ODI squad –

It was confirmed on Wednesday, 26 September, when the ODI and Test squads for the forthcoming England home-series was announced at a briefing held at the SSC media room in Colombo, that Mathews has been axed from the entire ODI squad. Yet he has been retained in the 16-member Test squad for the forthcoming England series.

Sri Lanka appointed Dinesh Chandimal, their Test skipper, for the ODIs too on Wednesday. The skipper for the T20 format is yet to be announced.

“It (the coming series) is a big challenge. I request the fans to be with us through this period,” requested Chandimal.

Due to fitness issues –

Labrooy emphasised Mathews was removed due to fitness issues.

“We weren’t convinced that Mathews could field for 50 overs and then come back and bat for 30 overs due to the level of his fitness,” he said.

According to Labrooy, Mathews had travelled to Australia for treatment on his hamstrings and for some injections, four days prior to the Asia Cup causing him to skip what is known as the yo-yo test to check players’ fitness levels. Doctors had indicated the test may aggravate his injury.

(L-R) National Selection Committee members Gamini Wickramasinghe, Eric Upashantha and Graeme Labrooy, Captain Dinesh Chandimal, Coach Chandika Hathurusinghe and selector Jeryl Woutersz.

Dual role as Chief Selector and ICC Referee –

Answering a question, Labrooy said his official duty as ICC Referee in the international women’s cricket circuit does not hinder his duty as the Chief of National Selectors.

Former Sport Minister Dayasiri Jayasekara had earlier said that when assuming duty, during the time Jayasekara was the Sports Minister, Labrooy had promised he would leave the ICC job to be full-time in his role as a selector.

“I didn’t have to do so because ICC allowed me to do refereeing in the women’s game as I’m not involved in women’s selections,” Labrooy clarified.

The other national cricket selection committee members, Gamini Wickramasinghe, Eric Upashantha and Jeryl Woutersz were also present at this media briefing along with Labrooy, Hathurusingha and Chandimal.

SL squads for England ODIs:

Dinesh Chandimal (Captain), Upul Tharanga, Sadeera Samarawickrama, Niroshan Dickwella, Dhananjaya De Silva, Kusal Perera, Dasun Shanaka, Thisara Perera, Akila Dananjaya, Dushmantha Chameera, Lasith Malinga, Amila Aponso, Lakshan Sandakan, Nuwan Pradeep and Kasun Rajitha

Stand-bys: Shehan Madushanka, Kusal Mendis, Dimuth Karunaratne, Suranga Lakmal and Jeffrey Vandersay.

SL squad for England Tests:

Dinesh Chandimal (Captain), Dimuth Karunaratne, Kaushal Silva, Kusal Mendis, Angelo Mathews, Dhananjaya De Silva, Roshen Silva, Dilruwan Perera, Rangana Herath, Malinda Pushpakumara, Akila Dananjaya, Suranga Lakmal, Kasun Rajitha, Lahiru Kumara (subject to fitness), Lakshan Sandakan and Niroshan Dickwella.

Stand-bys: Dushmantha Chameera, Lahiru Thirimanne, Jeffrey Vandersay, Kusal Perera and Nishan Peiris.

Schedule of England tour of Sri Lanka 2018

Oct 05, Fri – 1st One-day practice match at R. Premadasa Stadium, Colombo

Oct 06, Sat – 2nd One-day practice match at R. Premadasa Stadium, Colombo

Oct 10, Wed – Sri Lanka vs England, 1st ODI at Rangiri Dambulla International Stadium, Dambulla (D/N)

Oct 13, Sat – Sri Lanka vs England, 2nd ODI at Rangiri Dambulla International Stadium, Dambulla

Oct 17, Wed – Sri Lanka vs England, 3rd ODI at Pallekele International Cricket Stadium, Pallekele (D/N)

Oct 20, Sat – Sri Lanka vs England, 4th ODI at Pallekele International Cricket Stadium, Pallekele

Oct 23, Tue – Sri Lanka vs England, 5th ODI at R. Premadasa Stadium, Colombo (D/N)

Oct 27, Sat – Sri Lanka vs England, Only T20I at R. Premadasa Stadium, Colombo (Starting at 7 p.m.)

Oct 30, Tue – Oct 31, Wed – 1st Two-day practice match at Nondescripts Cricket Club Ground, Colombo

Nov 01, Thu – Nov 02, Fri – 2nd Two-day practice match at Colombo Cricket Club Ground, Colombo

Nov 06, Tue – Nov 10, Sat – Sri Lanka vs England, 1st Test at Galle International Stadium, Galle

Nov 14, Wed – Nov 18, Sun – Sri Lanka vs England, 2nd Test at Pallekele International Cricket Stadium, Pallekele

Nov 23, Fri – Nov 27, Tue – Sri Lanka vs England, 3rd Test at Singhalese Sports Club, Colombo.