WT20: SLC accuses former chief selector of hurting team

Colombo: Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) yesterday accused former selection committee chief Kapila Wijegoonawardena of hurting the morale of the national team ahead of their ICC World Twenty20 campaign by making "inaccurate and misleading" statements in the media.

Sri Lanka cricketers at a practice session in Kolkata on Saturday. Pic/PTI
Sri Lanka cricketers at a practice session in Kolkata on Saturday. Pic/PTI

"Mr Wijegoonawardne's statements are inaccurate, misleading, and defamatory, and furthermore are of the nature to cause grievous injury to the moral of the Sri Lanka cricket team, currently intent on bringing home the ICC World T20," a statement from SLC read.

Wijegoonawardena was fired by the Sports Minister last week and was replaced by former batsman Aravinda de Silva. In a statement later, Wijegoonawardena accused that he was victim of politics and a selection committee would not be required in future as politicians would be handpicking the team.

He alleged that the decision to remove Lasith Malinga as captain and the team for the ongoing World T20 had been discussed at a team hotel room during the Asia Cup held in Bangladesh.

The current chair of SLC, Tilanga Sumathipala is the deputy speaker of parliament and it has been alleged that he had influenced Sports Minister Dayasiri Jayasekera to sack Wijegoonawardena's panel of selectors.

SLC said it has appointed a three-member independent panel to review the former selection panel head's statements and make recommendations to cricket board on the appropriate disciplinary action to be taken against Wijegoonawardena if necessary.

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