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Sunday, 16 January 2011

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What was the big hurry to name SL squad?

Why did Sri Lanka name its World Cup squad in such a hurry when the ICC deadline to participating countries to confirm their final 15-member squads is January 19, 2011? That is the million dollar question asked in the sports circles for which only the national selectors could give an answer to justify their controversial act.

Out of all ICC full member states, Sri Lanka was the first country to name its final 15-member World Cup squad on January 7. What was the big hurry in naming Sri Lanka's World Cup squad 12 days before the stipulated deadline? Was that a move to prevent experienced national cricketers regaining form during the last two weeks before the ICC deadline so that the selectors could conveniently shut them out?

Sri Lanka Cricket is currently conducting its inter-provincial limited over tournament. The selectors should have been patient enough to give prospective Sri Lanka players another chance at this premier one day tournament before the selections are made. Even the ICC headline enables the selectors to wait for another two weeks and take the performances during the inter-provincial tournament into consideration.

If the performances of local cricketers are not considered for World Cup selections, what is the big idea in having the tournament during this period?

We are confident that the knowledgeable SLC tournament has timed the inter-provincial tournament with a purpose to serve. But the national selectors have ignored that fact in showing a big hurry to name the Sri Lanka squad before anyone else. Even upto yesterday, only three countries have named their final squads. Apart from Sri Lanka, only minnows Zimbabwe and the Netherlands have named their final squads.

Most fancied teams are making a careful study until the last minute to name their best teams on form. Even Zimbabwe named its final squad five days after Sri Lanka and no other Test nation has named squads until today. Quite rightly, Australia is planning to name its squad on January 19, after evaluating even the last minute performances of their players in the current series against England.

That leaves room for reasonable doubt on the conduct of the national selection committee and their undue hurry to name the Sri Lanka squad. .

It is up to the dynamic Minister of Sports, Mahindananda Aluthgamage to have a closer look and make his own investigation. The Minister must make a careful study so that Sri Lanka could field the best team on merit.

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