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Sri Lanka selection chief quits
 

Colombo: Sri Lanka’s chairman of selectors Guy de Alwis has tendered his resignation protesting the “persistent political interference” in the team selection process.

“The minister of sports, Johnston Fernando has interfered in everything from the time I took over and there is no way that I can continue in such circumstances,” said De Alwis, who had recently been re-appointed chairman of a new five-man selection panel.

De Alwis, who skipped a press conference here on Monday to discuss team selection for the Sharjah Cup, apparently took the decision to step down after the refusal of sports minister Fernando to ratify his original 15-man squad for the four-nation tournament starting in Sharjah on Thursday.

Speaking to the Island, De Alwais launched a scathing attack on Fernando’s continual interference, claiming he had been left with no option but to stand down.

“Every single time I sent in a team for ministerial approval he has opposed it and you simply can’t work like this,” De Alwis was reported as saying on a cricket website.

De Alwis is the third chairman of selectors to resign during sport minister Fernando’s one-and-a-half year tenure.

Aravinda de Silva, who took over a position on the selection panel after his retirement from international cricket, is the leading candidate for the post.

Alwis was a wicketkeeper in his playing days and represented his country with distinction as a hard-hitting batsman too.

He resigns in the wake of his country’s World Cup campaign, where Sri Lanka lost in the semi-final against Australia. Sri Lanka, in fact, didn’t fare too badly considering they lost to the eventual champions. (PTI)

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