Colombo: Sri Lanka has revamped its cricket selection panel with a new team under its new chairman, Sanath Jayasuriya, the country's Sports Ministry announced here on Monday. Jayasuriya, a former national captain and a current government parliamentarian, will have Hemantha Wickramaratne, Pramodaya Wickremasinghe, Chaminda Mendis and Eric Upashantha as co-members of the panel.
Wickramaratne, a former ODI player, is the only surviving member from the outgoing panel headed by former Test fast bowler Asantha de Mel. Wickramasinghe was a member of the 1996 World Cup champion side alongside Jayasuriya. They both come from the southern town of Matara. Jayasuriya, whose batting was a key factor to the island nation's victory in 1996, was named the most valuable player of the tournament. Mendis, who had figured in previous selection panels, was also an ODI player.
Upashantha, who has also appeared in ODIs, makes his selection panel debut. The new selection panel is part of Sports Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage's initiative to improve the country's international standing, particularly in Tests in which Sri Lanka is currently placed a lowly sixth. Jayasuriya, who has been a ruling party legislator since 2010, still turns out for his club in domestic competitions.