Truth behind Karunaratne’s appointment as vice captain

In a shocking revelation new chairman of selectors Ashantha de Mel said the move to appoint Dimuth Karunaratne as vice-captain for the two-Test tour to New Zealand and groom him as a future captain was that he found both Dinesh Chandimal and his stand-in captain Suranga Lakmal both incapable of taking decisions of their own on the field.

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  1. This is very confusing. Who appointed Ashantha de Mel as chief selector again? Ashantha de Mel held the post of chief selector for many years and was eventually replaced amid criticism over his selections – he had the backing of the Rajapaksa government at one point and was also chairman of the state-owned Ceylon Petroleum Corp. In the above interview, is he saying because Chandimal is not a good captain he appointed Karunaratne his deputy? Why not just make Karunaratne captain then? Nonsensical, no?

  2. I agree. I don’t see any corroborating evidence that Chandimal is not an effective captain on the field – in his last full series against Pakistan he showed his capability in this respect. I think that Karunaratne is a good choice as VC and the aim here should be for him and Chandimal to work closely together on the field, not only tactically but also to keep the players highly motivated.

    In the longer term I would like to see Jayawardene and Sangakarra appointed to run the selection committee and manage the team. They have the best insight into the game and the ability to get the best out of the players.

    • Also, most of what Ashantha has said in the article is highly subjective. You need more intelligent individuals as selectors. Sri Lanka needs those who make decisions based on facts/data/stats and not personal feelings.

      I don’t know where or when Ashantha saw the captain getting instructions from the coach while on the field. Some would argue that Ashantha is seeing things. I’m not sure if it’s a fact or just his view based on his emotions.

      And, what about the disparaging public comments he is making against the captain just before a series? All of this highlights this man is as smart as a brick.

      Whoever brought back Ashantha perhaps did so based on favouritism (they are close to Ashantha and feel they can count on him, which is typically how people are recruited for crucial positions in Sri Lanka) or they are unaware of his ineptness. He was always a yes-man who followed orders from above. This is perhaps why the Rajapakasa government picked him to hold a top post at Ceylon Petroleum Corporation back in the day.

      I wrote about a bit about Ashantha in a piece for ESPNCricinfo a few years back:

  3. Chandimal has hardly been on the field since being appointed as captain so not sure where De Mel is coming from but no surprises here. Another round of changes at the top followed by another round of changes in the field. It’s the game we have been playing for the last 4 years and got no where but yet, here we go again!