Thursday, May 29, 2008

Jayasuriya selected on merit

Sri Lanka's chairman of selectors Ashatha De Mel has conceded that Sanath Jayasuriya deserved a recall for the Asia Cup.

The veteran opener was not picked in the initial group identified by the selectors but was added at the expense of Upul Tharanga after the intervention of Sri Lanka's sports minister Gamini Lokuge earlier this month.

De Mel said the decision to include Jayasuriya, who will be 39 in June, was unanimous.

"Sanath deserved to be included in the team after his recent comeback to form," said De Mel.

"Sanath scored a hundred on the day we selected the squad so we felt that as he was performing well at the moment and deserves to be included."

Sri Lanka's lack of competition for places at the top of the order and lack of emerging talent contributed to the decision.

"We felt that Jayasuriya has reached peak again and, even at his age, he is fit," added De Mel. "We should give him the chance again for the country to gain the upper hand.

"We had considered many options and also younger players but Jayasuriya is looking good and we felt he deserves a recall," De Mel said.

Older players have a role to play, added De Mel, but he insisted the selectors will look to the future and not stifle emerging talent.

"We also have to include the older players who are fit and doing well so that we can maintain our ranking in the world," he said.

"However, at the same time young talent must be tried out to build up a team for the future."

No comments: