Sri Lanka Cricket yesterday (21) announced that it had established a high-profile evaluation and monitoring committee headed by Asanka Gurusinha to oversee the physical fitness & conditioning of the National Performance Squad ahead of their upcoming campaigns against Zimbabwe and India in Colombo.
Issuing a statement the SLC said that the move comes in the wake of Sri Lanka’s unfortunate exit in the quarter final stage of the Champions Trophy 2017, where they lost to eventual champions Pakistan in a nail-biting game on the 12th of June.
Elaborating on the plans set in motion, Team manager Asanka Gurusinha stated –
“We know how much resource and effort was invested in the team ahead of the CT17, and we now how much effort each and every player made both on and off the field – but we have the face the reality that we were just not good enough on the day, and look to the reasons behind this.
We have had several internal discussions with the coaches, trainers, the selectors, and the players themselves, and we all agree that there is a disparity in our fitness levels. We have incredibly talented cricketers, with the passion and the commitment to fly the flag on high – but they are not quite cricketing athletes, which is where we need to be.
The National Selectors met on Friday (16) and have selected a provisional squad of 30 players – these 30 players will undergo rigorous testing & evaluation this week, and will only make it into the squads for the Zimbabwe and India tours provided they meet the required grading,” Gurusinha said.
The initial testing of the 30 member provisional squad was conducted this morning under the supervision of SLC HP Training & Rehabilitation Manager Nirmalan Thanabalasingham who commented –
“Sri Lanka Cricket High Performance Sports Medicine and Sports Science Department are running a battery of fitness tests encompassing body composition, speed, power and endurance.
We will provide this information to the selectors to help guide their decision making but more importantly give players a plan to improve areas of concern in a realistic time frame,” Mr. Thanabalasingham said.
The Committee which has formulated a strict evaluation criteria is comprised of Chairman National Selection Committee Sanath Jayasuriya, Team Manager Asanka Gurusinha, Chairman SLC Medical Panel Professor Arjuna de Silva, High Performance Manager Simon Willis, Rehabilitation Manager Nirmalan Thanabalasingham and National Trainer Nicholas Lee.