Friday, January 01, 2010

Jayasuriya will be given more opportunities - Asantha De Mel

Chairman of selectors, Asantha De Mel speaking to the media today said that veteran batsman Sanath Jayasuriya will be given more opportunities in future.

When asked about some of the senior players left out for the Bangladesh tour, Chairman selectors Asantha De Mel stated that Mahela Jayawardena, Muttiah Muralitharan and Angelo Mathews were nursing injuries while Sanath Jayasuriya will be given more opportunities, however will have to play as a bowling all rounder.

He also added that Jayasuriyas’ tour of duty will be to bat at any position depending on the match circumstances.

Sri Lanka who were runners up in World Cup 2007, have been down hill in the shorter version of the game. De Mel then justified the down trend to certain seniors calling it a day in the international arena, further the out of form aspect in some, and also certain pitches or venues that give an added advantage to winning the toss and wrapped up his views by stating, that too much of cricket is being played in this era.

All three decision makers and the rest of the selectors were in unison in strengthening the bench and took the India as an example. Sangakkara also stated that the current out look is healthy because no player can rest on his past laurels, both seniors and the youngsters will have to perform to cement their respective places. He also made a pertinent point when he told the media that we were dependent only on a few players like Jayasuriya, Chaminda Vass and Muralitharan to win games for Sri Lanka, the time is ripe now for every single player to put his hand up and be counted.

Commenting in the drop of the fielding standards its one area along with our bowling that needs vast improvement. The skipper spoke of the high standards set by players in the caliber of Mahanama, Jayasuriya, Upul Chandana and T.M. Dilshan. Sangakkara also in no uncertain terms stated a specialist fielding coach sourced from overseas on an intermediate basis will help the cause.

Coach Trevor Baylis stated that the youngsters are given a golden opportunity, it’s now up to them to cement their respective places and be counted, since many are knocking on the door. The youngsters must take into account that Jayasuriya can fit in even at the age of 40. The south paw is still in the reckoning from Sangakkaras’ and De Mels’ view point hence performance and knowing the art of winning a game should be priority number one.


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