By Nalin Jayetileke
Sri Lanka Cricket Chief Selector, Ashantha De Mel said that the selectors have full confidence on Dimuth Karunaratne’s leadership as he has shown it in South Africa and see him as the fitting leader to get the team together for the World Cup in England. He expressed his view during the press briefing held at SLC on Thursday, April 18.
“We have given 12 matches to Malinga and he has not being able to show us results as a captain in the resent past and therefore, as much as we love to have Malinga in the side, we don’t see him as the right person to lead. He is a great performer and his cricketing knowledge is of a very high standard. Even his field placing is of really good standards. In fact he leads from the front and performs well but we fail as a team. As such we need a guy who can keep the team together and have the team sprit to keep moving forward, hence the selection of Dimuth as Captain,” said Ashantha.
The Chief Selector went on to say that he spoke to Lasith Malinga and has told him that he cannot guarantee that he will be appointed as the Captain as a decision was not taken till last evening (17th). Mr De Mel also said that he informed Lasith that even if he is not appointed the Captain, he and the rest of the selectors would like him to be in the side. Malinga has mentioned that he will take his decision once the Team and the Captain is announced.
President Shammi Silva said that he will be disappointed if the ace fast bowler Lasith Malinga retires from cricket ahead of the World Cup.
Malinga, who was the ODI and T20 captain for the series in South Africa, lost all eight matches and was replaced by Dimuth Karunaratne for the World Cup in England.
Speculation has been rife that Malinga intends to announce his retirement if he is not made captain of the team for the World Cup.
Expressing his views, the President of SLC, Shammi Silva said, “Malinga is a world class player and one of the best bowlers we have. We have selected him because we need him. The speculations are there that anybody can take any decision but we have to go and play in the World Cup as one team”.
Whatever said and done, the squad for the Cricket World cup has been chosen and its time the team united and executed their plans together with the Manager and the respective coaches and see that they come up with a good performance.
As highlighted to the media by the Former Sri Lanka World Cup winning Captain Arjuna Ranatunga, we should all wish the team all good luck without trying to see if the squad chosen is the right one or not and be positive, encourage the Team, support them to gain confidence, uplift their willingness to fight/ perform at the highest level which could be appreciated by the cricket loving public of Sri Lanka.
It’s time to leave all deferences on behalf of the Country and for Malinga, Mathews and the rest of the seniors to team up and support the cause and see that they guide the newcomers and the not so experienced to perform at its best as one Team.
It’s not the coaches that have to do the job in the middle but the players and it’s loud and clear in Cricket how much one may expect the coaches to get the team clicking and performing, they can only guide off the field but it’s the Player who has to do the job for what he has been chosen for, and it’s only the player who will know the mindset, confidence and the level of skill needed at that particular time for him to do what is expected by the Captain.
What is important is that the player has to synchronize with the requirement of the Captain and the side and not what any outsider wants as outside the Team, various people may have deferent opinions and it’s impossible to cater to all such but to do what is needed and what is possible according to his skill and ability. It’s only after a player delivers what is necessary and what is possible that he can look at how he should make the impossible, possible like how it was done by JPJ in South Africa.
As mentioned in thesundayreader.lk analysis stemming from the South African tour, success of our team is a matter of time and the 2019 World Cup in England is seen as the a launching pad for Sri Lanka to showcase themselves and live up to its expected stature in World Cricket under the able guidance of Dimuth Karunaratne , ‘the man with the Positive vibes’.