Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Aravinda de Silva defends Jayasuriya's place in the team


Aravinda de Silva, Sri Lanka's former captain andnewly-appointed chairman of selectors, has singled out winning the World Cup in 2011 as his "primary responsibility" in his latest role. de Silva, who scored an unbeaten century to take Sri Lanka to their only World Cup win, in 1996 against Australia in Lahore, said the national team had to win some major tournaments in its preparation for the ultimate prize, admitted it needed improvement at the top of the order and defended the 40-year-old Sanath Jayasuriya, who had a forgettable World Twenty20.

There has been plenty of criticism surrounding Jayasuriya's performances in the recent past, with many calling on him to quit. de Silva, however, said Sri Lanka had to consider all options for the World Cup. "We know what Jayasuriya is capable of. We must have a proper replacement for every position. We have nine months to prepare for the World Cup and we have not discarded anyone so far and decided on the positions they should play.

"You have to be fair to Sanath. He's shown what he is capable of and he has performed over the years and done so much for the country. We should respect that. It's fair that we look at every player the same way whether it is the youngest player or the most senior player. Anyone who gets out of hand which will affect the team, that is where when we will step in."

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