Sri Lanka to sack Dilshan, Marsh for South African debacle

Sri Lanka to sack Dilshan, Marsh for South African debacle

Stung by the series loss in Tests and ODIs in South Africa, the Sri Lankan sports ministry is planning a wide-ranging overhaul in Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) by sacking coach Geoff Marsh, captain Tillekaratne Dishan and the entire selection panel ahead of the tour to Australia later this month.

The Daily Mirror reported that Dilshan will be replaced by Mahela Jayawardene, Marsh by former South African national coach Graham Ford and the national selection panel headed by Duleep Mendis will be replaced by a new set headed by Asantha de Mel.

Sports Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage said new selectors would pick the team for the Australia tour.  “We are in the process of naming the new selectors. We are going to take all these decisions in consultation with SLC. I could have taken these decisions in a hurry, if it was an interim committee I had appointed. But, it is only right that I consult them and let them decide what to do as it is a democratically elected, independent body that controls SLC now,” the minister said.

“I have asked SLC to submit me a report on the poor performance of the team in the current South African tour. Once I get this report into my hands, I will decide on appropriate action to take,” Aluthgamage added.

The daily also said that besides De Mel, the other members of the selection panel could be Hemantha Wickramaratne, Kapila Wijegunawardena and Amal Silva. "Mendis will be appointed as the national team manager, a position the former Sri Lanka captain held with distinction when Sri Lanka won the 1996 World cup in 1996. Mendis will replace the present manager Anura Tennekoon, himself a highly respected former All Ceylon captain," the daily reported.

The report also said that batting coach Marvan Atapattu, a former captain, will probably be retained and will tour with the team in Australia as an assistant coach.