Sri Lanka chief selector resigns after whitewash to England
Ashantha De Mel, Sri Lanka’s selection committee chairman, has resigned after the national side’s 0-2 home series defeat against England.
Citing personal reasons, Ashantha had earlier stepped down from his position as the Sri Lankan team’s manager as well.
“We respect Ashantha’s decision and thank him for the services he rendered to Sri Lanka Cricket during his tenure as the Chairman of the Cricket Selection Committee,” said Ashley De Silva, CEO of Sri Lanka Cricket, in a release.
In the recently-concluded two-match Test series in Galle, the visiting England team handed defeat to the Lankans in both the matches, by margins of 7 wickets and 6 wickets, respectively. The series finished on Monday (January 25).
Ashantha has been serving in the role of Sri Lanka’s selection committee chairman since the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 in England and Wales, though he had taken up the jon only as a make-shift arrangement.
The 61-year-old was re-appointed as the chairman of Sri Lanka’s selection panel – which includes seven members in total – in December, 2020.
He had also served as the head of the selection committee twice before, in 2012 and then again in 2018.
“I was planning to resign from both anyway, so I was waiting for the second Test [against England] to be over. With the manager’s role, they needed the next manager to get visas ready for an upcoming tour. So I announced that earlier. I feel now it’s time for me to move on. It’s been two years,” said De Mel.
Ashantha is known for bowling Sri Lanka’s first ever ball in their history of Test cricket. Apart from 17 Tests, he also played 57 ODIs.