Chief selector confident batting will come good after new coach takes over | Daily News
Rangana Herath makes request for two Tests at a time

Chief selector confident batting will come good after new coach takes over

Chief cricket selector Graeme Labrooy and Chandika Hathurusingha
Chief cricket selector Graeme Labrooy and Chandika Hathurusingha

Chairman of selectors Graeme Labrooy believes that the national cricket team’s bane which is their batting will come good once Chandika Hathurusingha takes over as the head coach from today.

“From the Indian tour in Sri Lanka and then the Pakistan tour we see light at the end of the tunnel, there is an improvement but still to be decide,” Labrooy told the Daily News. “But now with Hathu coming on board we will have a batting coach who will be the head coach. That would put things right and I strongly believe that batting would come good.”

“It’s getting in and building into and getting into winning ways again, going and finishing or trying to close games that’s the challenge we have. We had India on the ropes in Sri Lanka they were something like seven down before those two guys (Dhoni and Kumar) got into partnership. We get into winning positions but we can’t capitalize on it. It’s down to experience at the end of the day. You have (Angelo) Mathews with the experience thereafter we lack in experience,” Labrooy said.

Talking of the positives that came out of the recently concluded ODI series that Sri Lanka lost to India 2-1, Labrooy said, “If you take a comparison with the Pakistan and Indian ODIs our guys played more competitive and positive cricket. Although we didn’t come on top in both series we performed better. Our ODI performance was not as expected. In the first ODI we were outstanding in bowling and then going back and scoring the runs on that wicket we showed a lot of courage, unfortunately we couldn’t carry it through. The second ODI we should have made a better call on the toss. We won and put them in on a flat track and we had to fight back from thereon.

“The side looks that they believe in themselves they think that they can win and beat the best side in the world. They got that belief and play more positive cricket. In the Pakistan series they were too much on the back foot all the time. Even yesterday (Sunday) when the guys went out they looked positive.”

Labrooy’s and Hathurusingha’s international careers never ran parallel with each other although they played enough first-class club cricket. Hathurusingha was just starting to play Test cricket when Labrooy’s career was coming to an end in the third Test against New Zealand at Auckland I 1991. However the two are bound to make an impact on Sri Lanka’s cricket destiny in the coming years.

“We had a chat last week officially Hathu takes over on December 19 (today). He wants to go forward and he is comfortable from what he has. He has an idea of what he wants to do, he wants to structure the support staff, wants to see the expectations from the players. With the conversation that I had with him I have confidence that the team can move forward and make great strides,” said Labrooy.

The next meeting of the selection panel is to pick the one-day squad for the tri-series in Bangladesh starting next month and Labrooy said that they were looking at inviting Hathurusingha into their mix.

“At the moment no, but we are looking at it. We always give the coach and the captain a good hearing and if our team is different from theirs then we ask them to justify it. If it fits into our strategy and if we are happy with it we give it to them. Most of the time we try to give them the squad they want. If we want to bring in somebody we tell them why and how he can fit into the strategy and the role he has to play,” explained Labrooy.


Labrooy said that Sri Lanka’s prime bowler Rangana Herath has made a request that he cannot play a three Test series in future and the selection committee has honoured it.

“Rangana is fit but when he plays in a match he bowls 30 overs flat and that takes a toll on his body. Because of his age (39) the recovery time is longer that is the only challenge otherwise he is okay,” said Labrooy.

“Being our main bowler he bowls 30-40 overs then he has two days recovery and he plays in the next Test. He has told us that he cannot play three Tests and we will honour that request. He can play three if he has not bowled much in the first two. In the second India Test he bowled 30 odd overs so the recovery period of the body is a little longer than the others.”


The absence of Lasith Malinga’s name in the Sri Lanka ODI squad that played India in a series of three matches caused quite a stir in the local media. Quite contrary to certain reports stating that Malinga will not be selected to play for his country in the future, Labrooy painted a totally different picture to it.

“We just basically rested him to have a look at the other bowlers. We have the Bangladesh T20 and the Nidahas tri-series. What happened is all these days he has not played in the longer version of the game (50 over). We told him to play much responsible cricket which he has started doing. Along with Hathu we want to plan out and see what Malinga’s future is. He is definitely in the plan for now,” said Labrooy.

“The main issue is that he has brought down his skin folds down to 71 which is very good, he looks fitter. Earlier it was in the mid 80s but still below he has worked hard in the last month and a half. The maximum pass mark is 90, we have players ranging from 45 -90 it depends on their composition of their body, height, weight, structure and all that. The lower the figure you are carrying lesser fat in your body. Malinga Pushpakumara failed it as he was 92 and above. He was to replace Rangana in India so we had to send (Jeffrey) Vandersay,” he said.


There are 6 Comments

A well structured mental training programme is long overdue for SL cricketers. Research studies have proved that mental training is equally important as physical training. It is time that SLC consider implementing such a programme with the assistance of experts either from UK, Australia or NZ. There are numerous websiyed on this subject in the Internet.

We have one of the best, if not the best junior cricket teams of the World in SL, the winning of Under-15 age group "Tuanku Ja'afar Trophy” 6-nation tournament held in Malaysia continuously is a clear proof for that, the extreme talents such as Chandimal,Dickwella,KusalMendis,Sadeera are few of those who have excelled in that tournament. It is the time & place [U-15 age group ] to identify Country's future stars as it happens in India,Pakistan, Bangladesh & Afghanistan. It is a completely false theory to pick players on some ignorant person's recommendations based on one single peromance, as it’s the present scenario in SL. Players has to be picked on their consistency from their age of 13-14 years, if we want to keep our good reputation intact for long time.

If our officials are not corrupted w our school officials like principals and coaches are not corrupted we have a chance of having a good sri lanka tean in another 8 years.

The reason given for not sending Malinga for T-20 in India is unacceptable. Malinga will bawl only 4 overs. What REST he needed?

It's high time for Herath to retire. No doubt that he is a good bowler but give others a chance.

Having performed so well and even now better than any other bowler, he should continue as long as he takes wickets. He had a set back at the start of his carrier because Muralitharan was the prefered spinner.


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