Jayasuriya set to be Sri Lanka's chief selector
Sri Lanka has revamped its cricket selection panel with a new team under its new chairman, Sanath Jayasuriya, the country's Sports Ministry announced in Colombo on Monday.
Jayasuriya, whose batting was a key factor to the island nation's victory in 1996 Cricket World Cup, was named the most valuable player of the tournament.
Jayasuriya in a short statement has confirmed that he will be receiving the new appointment.
"It is an unexpected journey that I will have to go on with the new post as the chairman of the National Selection Committee of Sri Lanka Cricket Board (SLCB). My main objective will be to make a decent test side, as we all know that test cricket is the best form of the game which follows up with One-day cricket, which is superior in its own ways," Jayasuriya said.
He urged his fans to support him in his new role.
After retiring from the game, Jayasuriya entered politics and recently opened a restaurant in the island nation.
Jayasuriya, who has been a ruling party legislator since 2010, still turns out for his club in domestic competitions.
The southpaw, a former national captain, will have Hemantha Wickramaratne, Pramodaya Wickremasinghe, Chaminda Mendis and Eric Upashantha as co-members of the panel.
Wickramaratne, a former ODI player, is the only surviving member from the outgoing panel headed by former Test fast bowler Asantha de Mel.
Wickramasinghe was a member of the 1996 World Cup champion side alongside Jayasuriya. They both come from the southern town of Matara.
Mendis, who had figured in previous selection panels, was also an ODI player.
Upashantha, who has also appeared in ODIs, makes his selection panel debut.
The new selection panel is part of Sports Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage's initiative to improve the country's international standing, particularly in Tests in which Sri Lanka is currently placed a lowly sixth.