Sri Lanka Cricket launched their T20 League and finalized the 84 players for the tournament at a special media conference held at Jaic Hilton yesterday.
Of significant note was the exclusion of experienced T20 players like Chamara Kapugedara, Seekkuge Prasanna, Dilshan Munaweera, Sachithra Senanayake, Milinda Siriwardene and Nuwan Kulasekara.
Meanwhile Dinesh Chandimal, Angelo Mathews, Thisara Perera and Suranga Lakmal have been appointed to lead Colombo, Kandy, Dambulla and Galle teams respectively in the tournament which will run from 21 August to 2 September..
Former captain Mahela Jayawardene slammed SLC and the selection committee for neglecting the senior players. Jayawardene tweeted: “Very tough to understand the policy this is what
happens when national selectors select provincial teams. That’s why you need provincial selectors on the different structure. You need experienced players for the youngsters to learn.”
An official revealed that the selection portrayed that the senior players who were not selected for the tournament seemed to have ended their international careers as they were not even selected for a domestic T20 league.
Speaking at the press conference selection committee member Eric Upashantha said: “We have given a lot of opportunities to the youngsters and playing with seniors help the youngsters to develop their standard.”
CEO Ashley de Silva added that regarding the selections not only Sachithra there are so many other senior players who were not selected because they wanted to include more juniors players to get experience in the T20 format. The teams were selected by the national selectors Jerry Woutersz, Eric Upashantha, Gamini Wickramasinghe and Graeme Labrooy. There are 21 players in each squad for the tournament. Each team will play six games in the round-robin stage with the top two teams in the points table qualifying for the final.
The Galle Team will be coached by Roy Dias, the Colombo Team by Avishka Gunawardena, Kandy Team by Piyal Wijetunga and Dambulla Team by Sumithra Waranakulasuriya.
The Manager’s for the 4 teams are Gajaba Pitigala (Colombo), Priyantha Udayaratne (Kandy), Vinothen John (Dambulla) and Nalinda Illangakoon (Galle).