Island Cricket

Sunday, September 28, 2008

"The cupboard is not full with young players" - Ranil Abeynaike

In his weekly column for the Sunday Times Ranil Abeynaike discusses Sri Lanka's squad for the Canada Cup Four Nation 20/20 and the lack of youth in a squad playing a young man's game. The article in full here and a few excerpts below.

Looking at the Sri Lankan squad to play in Toronto, my judgment indicates that only four players are under twenty five years of age. Four of them are beyond thirty and the average age must also be around that figure. That is more of an average age of a test team these days!

A definite criticism is not selecting a recognized wicket keeper. Young Kaushal Silva has in the past five years performed at every level that he has played at. Currently playing with the ‘A’ team in South Africa, he has had success there too. With Kumar Sangakkara having a break, recovering from surgery on a finger, it was the ideal opportunity to give Silva a break as a wicket keeper batsman.

The cupboard is not full with young players. This is mainly due to domestic tournaments not being established and not producing players of quality at a young age. They need some years to perform, because its experience that gets them there. Players like Thilina Kandamby, Dilhara Lokuhettige, Kaushalya Weeararatne, Thilina Thushara who are selected for this tour have taken a long while to mature. Jeevantha Kulatunge who gets an opportunity to wear national colours for the first time is thirty four years of age for all his efforts over the years he deserves a place, but it is not a medium of long term investment. It is time to take stock and invest in younger players who have the potential and have performed when the opportunity has been afforded. The time is ripe to throw some new faces into the ring.

Posted by Hilal


Lakshan said...

My point is for Twenty-20 cricket you don't need to think of long term investments. It's very short form of game and all you need is players in their top form walking to the center. Look how Sanath did perform in last IPL. Even Aussies doesn't come with totally young outfit for Twenty-20 form of cricket. So the selection criteria should not be the age but one's form and fitness.

Anonymous said...

I personally have very little regard for T20 as far as player development is concerned. Yet its great to see that Kaushal Silva is finally getting some attention.. in the media atleast.
Looking at his current form the selectors would do well to give him a chance to play some international cricket, specially when we dont have a specialist keeper in the side.
Also I have a sneaky feeling that its time sanga gives up the gloves in all forms. He has always been a batsmen with limited keeping ability. There is a world of difference between him and prasanna as a WICKET KEEPER. With kaushal pushing for a place [if the selectors realise his potental sooner rather then later] it will only give prasanna more incentive to cement his place in the side by improving his batting avg. It will promote some healthy competition.

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