After Lasith Malinga was appointed the captain of the team its unity was in jeopardy, according to internal sources, while senior player Tissara Perera had made a written appeal to SLC to remove Malinga from the captaincy.
The social media clash between Malinga’s wife and Tisara’s wife had been a key contributor in the internal conflicts of the team.
After the selection committee was appointed under the leadership of Asantha de Mel, a sudden decision had been taken to remove Dinesh Chandimal from the captaincy and replace him with Malinga for the New Zealand tour.
After Malinga was appointed to the captaincy, those who had asked to be included in the team, Seekkuge Prasanna, Asela Gunaratne and several others had not been included in the South Africa tour. Instead, youth players Oshada Fernando, Avishka Fernando and Angelo Perera were included.
Sri Lanka lost all three ODI games in the New Zealand tour.
Therefore, this ODI series is of great significance for the team and Captain Lasith Malinga. However, former Captain Angelo Mathews is not included in the team for the South Africa tour.
There have been pressure from various quarters to appoint him as the captain for the tour, but Mathews is currently recovering from an injury. The Sri Lankan team do not have any significant matches lined up between the South Africa tour and the World Cup.
Therefore, Mathews only has two tournaments against Scotland to prove his ability. However, the selection committee is of the view that Mathews does not need match experience.
“Mathews does not need practice. By the time the World Cup approaches, if he is in good shape, we will include him in the team,” a selection committee member said. The selection committee is currently preparing the best team for the World Cup. They would be focussing mainly on the new and younger players.