Cricket

Ashantha de Mel steps down as Sri Lanka’s chief selector

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Jerome Jayaratne has been appointed staff supervisor, however there is no such thing as a information but as to the choice panel’s composition

Ashantha de Mel has resigned as Sri Lanka’s chief selector following the 2-Zero loss to England within the dwelling Take a look at collection that concluded on Monday. Sri Lanka had additionally lately misplaced 2-Zero in South Africa. De Mel mentioned it had at all times been his plan to resign as selector on the conclusion of this collection.

He had additionally stepped down as staff supervisor – a put up he had concurrently held – a number of days prior. He had held each roles since November 2018.

“I used to be planning to resign from each anyway, so I used to be ready for the second Take a look at [against England] to be over,” he informed ESPNcricinfo. “With the supervisor’s position, they wanted the following supervisor to get visas prepared for an upcoming tour. So I introduced that earlier. I really feel now it is time for me to maneuver on. It has been two years.”

Sri Lanka Cricket has confirmed that Jerome Jayaratne, who has held numerous roles throughout the staff, together with as interim head coach in 2015 and 2016, will take up the supervisor’s place. There is no such thing as a information but as to who may be a part of a recent choice committee.

As chief selector and supervisor, de Mel had overseen the elevation of Dimuth Karunaratne to the Take a look at and ODI captaincy, however the staff has had largely poor outcomes, notably in Take a look at cricket. They misplaced 9 Assessments and gained simply 4 throughout his tenure, struggling three 2-Zero whitewashes in opposition to Australia (away), South Africa (away) and England (dwelling). However within the first six months of his stint, Sri Lanka additionally gained their first ever Take a look at collection in South Africa, in February and March 2019.

It’s possible that the lack of their final 4 Assessments, and notably the 2 at dwelling to England, has hastened the top of de Mel’s tenure. He blamed Sri Lanka’s rushed schedule and lack of ability to organize for these lossesm nonetheless. Sri Lanka’s squad had left to South Africa two days after the Lankan Premier League had concluded, and due to problems arising from the Covid-19 pandemic, had had no follow matches there.

That they had additionally returned to Sri Lanka simply eight days earlier than the beginning of the England collection, and had managed just one nets session earlier than the primary Take a look at started in Galle.

“Contemplating the final two excursions, we weren’t ready to go and play in South Africa,” de Mel mentioned. “We performed the LPL and subsequent day flew off. We had someday’s follow. Who goes and performs at The Wanderers’ with out having at the least a three- or four-day follow sport to get used to the situations? Folks should acclimatise to the excessive altitude, after which the bodily health – nobody checked for one month.” No less than 5 Sri Lanka gamers broke down throughout the South Africa tour.

“Even the England collection, they’re saying our guys cannot play spin. Nicely the place did they’ve the time to play spin? We had one follow session. England had been doing their preparation.”

De Mel mentioned that if it had been as much as him, he wouldn’t despatched the staff on the tour to South Africa, and used that point to organize for England as an alternative. Cancelling that tour on the final second is prone to have induced a significant rift between boards, nonetheless.

Sri Lanka’s ODI and T20I collection outcomes weren’t a lot better over the previous two years. Sri Lanka gained just one T20 trophy – a collection in opposition to Pakistan in 2019. And though they outdid expectations on the 2019 ODI World Cup to complete sixth on the desk, the one multi-match ODI collection they gained was in opposition to West Indies, whom they beat 3-Zero at dwelling in February final 12 months.

Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo’s Sri Lanka correspondent. @afidelf

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