Why in-form senior pro Tharanga wasn’t selected in Tests, while undeserved favorites granted both formats?

Slow going mismatch Chandimal is automatically selected for ODIs despite repeated failures in Odis & in domestic Super-4 (4-day 18 Av/ List-A 1.0 Av)… !!!
Chandimal in Odis Since Jan 2017:
20 odis – 18 ings – 400 runs – 23 Average – 61 STRIKE RATE..!

Obviously, Chandimal was one of the biggest reasons for loosing so many ODIs during 2017.
Injury prone Mathews is automatically selected to Tests despite doing nothing in recent times in domestic cricket to get selected (super 4 tournament – 4-day 14 Av / List A  24 Av) & Mathews was a  total failure in Tests during past 2 years –
Angelo Mathews in Tests since May 2016:
15 Tests – 29  ings – 860 runs @ 29 Average …!!!!
On the other hand, Upul Tharanga had specifically asked for just 6 months break from Tests  (September 4, 2017) to concentrate on responsibilities as skipper in Odis & T20s during his brief tenure as skipper in mid-2017. Those Six months is well exceeded now and he is available for selections. Tharanga had done much better than Mathews in Tests in past 2 years, despite getting some brief opportunities scattered allover batting order (No 2-7) , unsettling his usual batting rhythm as a front order specialist;

Upul Tharanga in Tests since May 2016:

10 Tests –  20 ings –  637 runs @ 36 Average.
But only their personal favorites (like Chandimal, Mathews etc) backing selectors (Graeme Labrooy & coach Hathurusinghe), totally ignored the most in-form experienced senior batter Upul Tharanga, despite continuing his excellent form from 2017 (one of the 3 batters in the world who topped 1,000 odi runs in 2017).

Even In recent domestic Super-4 tournaments, coastal village-school originated Tharanga was the ONLY front order batter among SL's current international batters, who made tons in both formats. But obviously he was ignored again by the Colombo-originates backing selectors, who always readily grant automatic selections to some of their Colombo based buddies across all formats, with nil performances in recent times to justify their spots in those formats (this partiality in selections was clearly pointed out in above examples).  

If SL is seriously thinking of salvaging the already ruined international Cricket, they have to stop this idiotic, double-standard, merit-less policy at least now. They should select players purely according to current form plus proven abilities & experience, without any bias placed on their origin or favoritism.  

SL cannot afford to select name sake baggage carriers automatically any longer.  If they cannot justify their spots with acceptable overall accomplishments / productivity shown during past 12 months or longer at international level, in appropriate format…. at least they should be able to come up with some exceptional performances in domestic scene to earn back their spots. Otherwise, automatic spots should never be readily granted to such failures forever, as seen with Mathews & Chandimal, no matter how senior they are. Lack of fitness makes this unethical absurdity even worse!   

As usual,  the Colombo backing selectors' repeated ignorance & blind-eyed reluctance to recognize this "out-of-hub" originated front order batter's current form, vast experience & abilities…. is killing the essence of any impartial selection criteria. The truth of the matter is;  if Tharanga was lucky enough to bloom from a city school, he would have never faced those historically long cruel pauses, virtually stalled his prime career beyond 3 year in Odis (2013-2016)  & 7 years (2007- 2014) in Tests and today he should have made over 10 k runs with plenty of tons, beating most in each format to be among the top class batters!  

Why do they still promote this despicable double-standard policy, if really thinking about salvaging SL cricket?

Recognize every senior player's achievements or failures on equal terms on a common scale for National Squad representation, without discriminating on territorial bias.! 

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  1. This is the bitter truth
    This is the bitter truth naked to levelheaded general public. But never willing admit or change by some city soles at the helm of SLC administration. They consider only the products of elite city schools as the pillars of success, irrespective of repeated failures. Selectors provide limitless chances to their personal cronies, while overlooking/ruining much productive players hailed from anywhere else. That’s why even such a senior player like Tharanga was never treated fairly even after a decade long seniority, despite his superb form & continuous run making for SL.

  2. Latest News:

    Latest News:

    Privileged Mathews, Chandimal, Dimuth (all 3 batters from Colombo’s inner circle) and bowlers Herath /Lakmal (luckily no competitors from Colombo circle) were given category A contracts, while SLC’s stepchild BATTER hailed from elsewhere(Tharanga)was given only a B contract, despite his equal or more valuable contributions to SL in past year.

    What kind of standardization is this? How can anyone justify this double standard, highly bias treatment?

    Chandimal in 2017: 20 odis – 400 runs – 23 Av – 61 SR was one of the clear culprits responsible for dooming so many Odis during past year. Yet he got A category purely on Tests.

    Mathews was a total failure in Tests during past 2 yrs:
    15 Tests – 29 ings – 860 runs@ 29 Av. What had he done in past year to grant Category A ? When was the last time he won a MoM award?

    Dimuth K was given Category A purely on his Test performances; topping 1,000 Test runs in 2017 (as Upul Tharanga did in Odis)

    But Tharanga’s much harder & significantly unique achievement was not recognized in equal terms as usual to reward him fairly. Why?

    Upul Tharanga was one of the only 3 odi players in world cricket to make over 1,000 runs in 2017 (25 odis -1,011 runs – 48 Av – 92 SR – 2×100+ / 6 x 50+ his hundreds against SA & Pak & a 95 Vs India). He made those valuable runs for SL single-handedly, while rest in the team, miserably failed even to come close with their bats to salvage SL in many Odis. Upul even created a SL Odi record carrying his bat throughout an inning Vs Pak trying hard to win a match, but there was not a single batter capable of remaining at the end to support him to make those few runs needed to win.! This was the story in 4th Odi in SA, where UT made 119 from 90 balls @ 132 SR Vs SA in Capetown.!

    No matter how you look at it, none can deny the fact obvious to anyone. This latest misdoing proves the point I have stressed in this blog.

  3. Not sure I agree with the
    Not sure I agree with the Chandi/Anji bashing going on here, firstly, isn’t Chandi from down South? Regardless, someone has to lead the test team and Chandi’s test credentials are no longer up for discussion. The issue here is Anji who is limping in and out of the team and captaincy which is making everything difficult.

    I assume we can get past the debate that Anji could and should be our number one batter but as the writer points out, his form in the last two years is of serious concern. This was the guy who was supposed to step up but he has hardly made the park let alone make runs.

    I too agree that Chandi should not be in the limited over team but then who should lead it in Anji’s absence? I for one would take this opportunity to give the leadership role to a young chap but we so reluctant and caught up in the ‘senior’ thing hence forced to play Chandi in limited overs cricket.

    Upul is a plan but a plan that was tested and failed spectacularly with a couple of 5-0 loses! Also I feel Upul is only a stop gap and now we are passed that stage and need a permanent solution hence my call for a younger option with the idea it’s a move for the future.

  4. @Stormy; Yes Chandi is from
    @Stormy; Yes Chandi is from down south from the same village as Tharanga but the only difference is Chandi moved to Ananda accepting the request, but Tharanga’s mistake was he refused to accept the invitation and move to Colombo/change his school, as he clearly stated in one of his media interviews. As I said, if he had made that move, he wouldn’t have ever faced those historically long cruel pauses, virtually stalled his prime career beyond 3 year in Odis (2013-2016) & 7 years (2007- 2014) in Tests & today he should have made over 10 k runs with plenty of tons, beating most in each format to be among the top class batters!

    My article was not regarding the stripping of his captaincy but the continuous overlooking of him from a well deserved spot in test squads.

    He is better-off not leading a side incapable to support his efforts(some bowlers like Lakmal, Malinga etc inexplicably taking 6-7 minutes to complete an over & with a batting unit comprised of bottle-necks like Chandimal – Pk series: 5 odis -41 runs @ 8 av- 47 SR (Mendis- 2 odis-12 runs @ 6 av – 37 SR/ MilindhaS – 5 odis – 13 runs @ 4 av- 43 SR/ Thisara – 5 odis – 91 runs @ 18 av) crumbling well under 50 overs….. those sins of others resulted UT to face unfortunate match-banned + monetary penalization and 5-0 series losses!

    But as usual the blind followers of SL cricket, with zero analytical viewpoint (including some local media) easily find the SLC’s deliberate scapegoat Tharanga to blame.!

    5-0 whitewash Vs Pk, Tharanga scored 199 runs @ 50 Av- with an unbeaten 112* & 61. But the SL’s batting failures given to him among top 7 batters in the order, collectively managed just 248 runs from 25 ings @ 9.92 Av.! Even a canny skipper like Ricky Ponting wouldn’t have survived under such circumstances.

    SO WHOM TO BE BLAMED for those whitewashes?

    As I pointed out, both 5-0 losses would have been easily avoided, if there were some genuinely talented front/middle order batters in the squads given to him, capable enough to face those situations & support UT’s single handed century making efforts to pullout wins. But they all crumbled out well under 50 overs, short of a few runs to make those wins (especially in 4th odi vs SA/ 2nd Odi Vs Pk).

    SLC had now proudly re-appointed their darling skipper Mathews(totally forgetting how he doomed more than 80% of his consecutive series across all formats from 2015-2017, including the historicaly humiliating home-series defeat suffered Vs minnow Zmb in 2017…. to lead the nation, to his 4th straight GLOBAL-STAGE, white-ball Humiliation in upcoming 2019-WC!

    Now back to unjustly overlooking of Tharanga in Tests….

    Since recalled for Tests, in 2014 after 7-yrs Tharanga was limited to 16 randomly given tests. Despite that, his 32 innings yielded 1,041 runs @ 35 av with 2 x100+ & 5 x 50+ (including consecutive scores of 92,45,46,48 Vs Pak despite facing a yearlong in-between layoff & missing another ton vs SA by 16 runs).

    Since recalled in 2014 after 7yrs, He ONLY failed consecutively in last two tests vs India in 2017 series, to make any impact (during his brief tenure as white-ball skipper handling more responsibilities, which prompted him to seek a 6-months brief break from tests to focus on that).

    Up to that 2nd Test vs India in Aug 2017 since recalled for his 2nd phase of test career after 7 yrs in Nov 2014,

    Upul Tharnga: 28 Test innings yielded 1,027 runs @ 40 av with 2 x 100+ / 5 x 50+


    – Isn’t this one of the MOST Progressively Productive Test batting performance seen from a SL player during past 3 years?

    – Isn’t this senior pro front order batter, currently in immaculate batting form topping 1k runs in 2017 & being the only SL international player succeeded in making tons in both formats of recent Super-4 PT?

    – if they can gamble any further with physically unfit, rapidly declining failure like Mathews (past 2 yrs: 15 Tests – 29 ings – 860 runs @ 29 Av), why much more assertive, experienced Tharanga was overlooked again after such an impressive batting record to back him in regaining his well deserved test spot?

  5. Does, he really deserved to
    Does, he really deserved to be treated as a stop gap-player after all those years of hard work & impressive progress in all departments… despite facing extremely harsh treatment… yet constantly producing big runs for nation SL ?

    Even his ground fielding (cutting off so many boundaries) & catching were vastly improved in recent times; ie: after Upul Tharanga’s 2 catches in the final odi in recent BD series, made him taking a record equaling SEVEN x Catches in that 5-odi series (2 in in final + 1 in 4th Odi, + 3 in 3rd Odi & 1 in 1st odi). This is the highest number of catches taken by a SL fielder in a 5-odi series (Only RS Mahanama had achieved a similar fielding record in 1997, 21 yrs ago).

    – Tharanga also equaled the Highest number of Catches (3) taken by a SL fielder in an ODI inning, in the previous match Vs Zmb.

    Some of them were very hard spectacular catches(among the best)praised by foreign commentators. Yet, some local horned-heads who never willing to appreciate those, readily pick such occasional spill (even common to the very best)to blame/criticize him over many moons to come(when unable to find any other means to let him down).

    Note: found the following stats about SLCS’s “ever-green” buddy skipper Mathews the great. You are free to take it as a compliment/ bashing or absolute reality, according to your sweetly focused mindset 🙂

    Mathew’s overall Record 2015/16 &17: Total Series 26 / Lost 22/ Won 3/ Drew 1. – Under Mathews: SL LOST 85 % of his series / Won just 11% & Drew 4%

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