Selection nepotism fixes proven schoolboy bowler?
The country’s leading wicket-taker in domestic youth cricket has been
shown the door in a shocking move when Sri Lanka’s Junior selectors
decided on a 15-man squad for next month’s Under-19 Triangular featuring
India, England and the host nation.
The squad is also likely to be the same that will contest January’s
Youth World Cup in Bangladesh.
Lasith Embuldeniya, a left arm spinner took 51 wickets in five
matches for Royal College in the on-going inter-school season, but has
not found a place, the result of nepotism according to analysts.
The Junior Selection Committee is headed by former Sri Lanka player
Ranjith Madurasinghe and instead of Embuldeniya a player from Maliyadeva
College, Damitha Silva, who is reported to have taken less than 20
wickets has got the nod.
Head selector Madurasinghe is also an ex-Maliyadeva player. The
Sunday Observer learns that team captain Charitha Asalanka and coach
Roger Wijesuriya had both wanted the selection of Embuldeniya into the
The reason given for the exclusion of Embuldeniya is that he failed
in a so-called trial game to pick the squad.
But analysts contend that if trials form the criteria for player
selections, there is no need for the appointment of selection experts
whose job it is to identify potential around the country and not depend
of trials which any ordinary layman would be able to do.
Sri Lanka U-19 squad:
Charitha Asalanka (captain-Richmond College), Sammu Ashan (Ananda
College), Keveen Bandara (DS Senanayake College), Salinda Ushan (Isipathana),
Avishka Fernando (St. Sebastian’s College), Wanindu Hasaranga
(Richmond), Vishad Randika (Isipathana), Malinga Amerasinghe (Nalanda
College), Lahiru Samarakoon (Dharmaraja College), Lahiru Kumara (Trinity
College), Asitha Fernando (St. Sebastian’s College Katuneriya), Jehan
Daniel (St. Joseph’s College), Thilan Nimesh (Prince of Wales College),
Damitha Silva (Maliyadeva College), Lakshan Fernando (De La Salle).