By Susil Premalal
Sports Minister Namal Rajapaksa has given the green light for schools to conduct their annual cricket big matches.
Following requests by school heads and various other parties, Minister Rajapaksa held discussions with Education Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris before arriving at this decision.
However, the big matches must be conducted strictly adhering to quarantine regulations, the Sports Minister said at a press conference held at the Duncan White auditorium of the ministry on Wednesday.
Speaking on the occasion of the National Sports Update provided by National Sports Council (NSC) chairman Mahela Jayawardene, the Sports Minister said arrangements are underway to conduct big matches such as the Royal-Thomian, Ananda-Nalanda and Richmond-Mahinda.
A majority of the big matches could not be held last year with the outbreak of COVID-19.
Soon after the Royal-Thomian encounter last March, all big matches were cancelled.
Meanwhile, the minister said he was not in haste to appoint members to the national cricket selection committee, including the vacant position of chairman.
“Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC), the SLC Cricket Committee comprising former national cricketers in consultation with the NSC would appoint a selection committee with a long-term vision,” the minister said.
The minister said every selection committee would in future comprise veterans who have an understanding of the talent in the national pool and not select individuals tour by tour.
Sports Minister Namal Rajapaksa addressing the National Sports Update press conference alongside NSC chairman Mahela Jayawardene, Kumar Sangakkara and Julian Bolling in addition to ministry officials (Pic by Kithsiri de Mel)