Friday, May 16, 2008

Sanath overlooked again, Murali returns

National selectors have once again overlooked veteran Sanath Jayasuriya for the ODI team but recalled spinner Muttiah Muralitharan for the Sri Lanka team for the forthcoming Asia Cup starting in Pakistan on June 24.

The 38-year old Jayasuriya who has represented the country in 110 tests and 411 one day internationals - most by a Sri Lankan, retired from tests last year and was dropped for the recent tour of West Indies following poor form.

The legendary all-rounder who holds several world records roared back into form on Wednesday with a blazing century in the IPL Twenty20 tournament but it came a little bit too late for the former Sri Lanka skipper, as the selectors’ meeting started at 5.00 p.m on Wednesday, prior to his epic innings.Last month, authorities decided to drop Jayasuriya from the list of annual contracts, delivering a telling blow to his career, but he is the third highest paid player of the Indian Premier League (IPL) earning a whopping 975,000 US dollars.

Muralitharan was rested for the West Indies tour by selectors who reasoned that they want to preserve the world record holder till the 2011 World Cup and would pick him selectively, only for most important assignments.

Returning to the side with Murali will be pace bowler Dilhara Fernando and all rounder Farveez Maharoof, both of whom were not available for West Indies through injuries but are fit now, playing currently in the IPL.

Dropped from the side are pacemen Ishara Amerasinghe and Thilina Thushara Mirando along with all rounder Malinga Bandara.

Selectors have retained promising young off spinner Ajantha Mendia of Army which means skipper Mahela Jayawardena has been given two off spinners with Murali’s inclusion.

A selection committee source said that their focus fell on struggling opener Upul Tharanga as well but finally decided to give him another go.

Controversial Left hand batsman Jehan Mubarak has also retained his place along with medium pace bowler Nuwan Kulasekara.

Star bowler Lasith Malinga has once again been not considered for selection due to his persistent bone swelling in the right leg that has remained stubborn and very slow in responding to treatment.

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