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National cricketers embarrassed: Angry Sports Minister recalls nine ODI players from BIA

5 December 2017 11:10 am - 20     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}


by Champika Fernando
In an unprecedented development, Sports Minister Dayasiri Jayasekera last night ordered all nine players heading to India for the limited-over leg of the current series to turn back as they were leaving the country without his approval. At the time of his intervention, the players had even boarded the flight to Delhi and were forced to disembark.

The team leaving the country without his approval was a blatant violation of the country’s sports law which requires Sports Minister’s approval, the Minister said.

Sri Lanka Cricket maintained that the team composition was sent for ministry approval yesterday evening, This gave the Minister less than 12 hours to sanction it. 

“How can I approve a team at such short notice?” a furious Minister asked. “If you go by the Sports Law, it requires the list to be sent three weeks prior to leaving. Here, they are sending a team just three to four hours before leaving the country. So I had to recall them."

“I have nothing against the players," he said. "In fact, Thisara called me last night from the flight and said, 'Sir we have already boarded'. But I told him, 'Nothing doing'. If I allowed them to go, I am setting a precedent here."

The Sports Minister will now meet the selectors, Board officials and skipper Perera this afternoon before approving the team.

“They can go tonight but I want to ensure it doesn't happen again,” he said.

Kusal Perera

The selectors decided a squad of 15 players for the limited-over series on Friday but were to meet again on Monday to finalize the final team as there had been some disagreements over some players.  Sources said the Board wanted the selectors to reconsider their decision to omit Dinesh Chandimal and Kusal Perera from the squad. Chandimal, the highest run-getter in the current series with two 50s and a century, has been dropped along with Kusal, an aggressive left-handed batter who has reportedly not had enough match practice.

However, Kusal Perera who was not in the original tour party was included at the eleventh hour as the 16t man to the squad. Perera has not played international cricket since injuring himself in the Champions Trophy. The three-match series against India starts on December 10.

Sri Lanka's ODI squad:

Thisara Perera (capt), Upul Tharanga, Danushka Gunathilaka, Lahiru Thirimanne, Angelo Mathews, Asela Gunaratne, Niroshan Dickwella (wk), Chaturanga de Silva, Akila Dananjaya, Suranga Lakmal, Nuwan Pradeep, Sadeera Samarawickrama, Dhananjaya de Silva, Dushmantha Chameera, Sachith Pathirana, Kusal Perera






  Comments - 20

  • saman Tuesday, 05 December 2017 01:28 PM

    Cricket in SL is a joke!

    Roshan Tuesday, 05 December 2017 02:23 PM

    SLC had taken things for granted. No wonder it's in disarray!

    DRP Tuesday, 05 December 2017 03:01 PM

    power struggles continue ...... no wonder SL cricket is in such a mess..........

    RUKMAL Tuesday, 05 December 2017 04:01 PM

    Sack Thilanga the vermin..

    Nishzz Tuesday, 05 December 2017 07:29 PM

    Please call back these 8 month pregnant chicks..

    L C A Tuesday, 05 December 2017 07:30 PM

    These personal agendas will never help to improve our cricket. Jokers are playing while cricketers are loosing !

    nimwee Tuesday, 05 December 2017 07:46 PM

    Are you saying that leaving the country without Ministry approval as laid down by Law is a lesser embarassment ? What a headline!!

    Summa Tuesday, 05 December 2017 07:59 PM

    SL Cricket is becoming the joke of sporting world. Cost of air tickets and other expenses will be huge. Minister's arrogance wouldn't help cricket coffers. Why punish the players ? Get Bookiepaala and Selectors and Managers. Minister is so scared of them.

    Cricket lover Tuesday, 05 December 2017 08:06 PM

    Make cricket independent of politics. What knowledge has a minister (or any other politician) got about the current team. Leave it to the selectors. Change the law now before it is too late.

    Clueless Wednesday, 06 December 2017 11:18 AM

    Except for cool

    Sydneysider Wednesday, 06 December 2017 07:32 AM

    Jayasekara, why you punish players if you know its not their issue?! How can you humiliate players like this? What have you ever achieved to boss around players who have done so much for the country? Don't forget, people of Sri Lanka put you in your position. You haven't achieved anything.

    lafiri Wednesday, 06 December 2017 08:09 AM

    Ohh come on Mr. Ammata Discard, we need to make sports separate from Politics. Sole responsibility should lie with controlling bodies not minister. Minister of sports should be there to monitor overall welfare of sportsmen/women and not their performance.

    Kaboos Wednesday, 06 December 2017 08:12 AM

    these national cricketers anyway going to be embarrass in the hands of powerful Indians. SLC should follow the protocol.

    Qatar Wednesday, 06 December 2017 10:58 AM

    Can we adopt some other sport as our National please

    SAM Wednesday, 06 December 2017 02:13 PM

    Well done Minister. There certainly should have some discipline. Authorities who did the damage should be kicked out.

    D.P.Liyanage Wednesday, 06 December 2017 03:44 PM

    It is a full of joke. Ultimately everything is the tax payers money. SLC

    sam silva Wednesday, 06 December 2017 07:59 PM

    Isn't the Minister ultimately responsible for ensuring the team is propedrly approv ed and sent on time. Minister knew there is an ODI series starting on 10 Dec and a team has to be sent a week ahead.Considering the pathetic state of SRL cricket, the Minister should have asked for progress on selection and travel plans.SRL cricketers morale is down due to continued failures resulting from shortcomings in SLC management. The Minister should take the blame for the current state. The team pulled out of the plane- the final coffin in Sri Lanka cricket.What a set of jokers

    RK Wednesday, 06 December 2017 08:18 PM

    Three to four hours is more than enough for an approval yo be cleared. Its not rocket science. This is very ignorant considering the minister of sports not being aware of these events. Clearly he is not doing his job right. Very unprofessional and unacceptable. A qualified person should be appointed. Its his job to be aware of these thingsbefore hand

    Athacolla Saturday, 09 December 2017 12:21 PM

    This time it's not the corrupt politicians who are Embarrassing Sri Lanka it's the doubt ridden cricketers Who do not deserve to represent the nation. I just wonder How these players ever got selected through the ranks, the selection procedures must be corrupt to the core

    Roy Wednesday, 13 December 2017 03:48 PM

    tax payers have bear the cost of players taking the second flight. Idiotic minister.

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