No plans to axe Mahela, Sangakkara: Jayasuriya

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Published: Thursday, January 31, 2013, 11:50 [IST]
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Jayasuriya denies plans to axe seniors

Colombo, Jan 31: Former Sri Lanka cricketer Sanath Jayasuriya, the chief selector of the new selection panel has denied reports related to target senior players in the team.

A veteran of 110 Tests abd 445 ODIs, Sanath Jayasuriya was appointed as the head of the selection panel on Tuesday.

The new selection panel includes Hashan Tillkaratne, Pramodaya Wickremasinghe, Chaminda Mendis and Eric Upashantha. It is learnt that Jayasuriya had suggested many changes that include sacking of seniors - Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara, according to sources after he was appointed as the chief selector.

Following such reports, Jayasuriya on Thursday denied plans to target seniors as he said "Straight away you can't make big changes."

Leading the selection panel, Jayasuriya conveyed that it was not on his agenda during the first media interaction session on Wednesday.

Jayasuriya further added saying that "The big task is to give confidence to the existing players in the team. It is wrong to say I have been appointed to remove certain players."

Reports about Jayasuriya targetting the senior players were speculated since the seniors were against retaining the 43-year-old in teh national team for the 2011 World Cup which eventually ended his cricketing career.

Talking to reporters on Wednesday, the former Sri Lankan captain said that the team lacked passion for the game and suggested that the new selection panel would look forward to have the right blend of youth and experience which could help them fare better.


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