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Jan 5, 2011

End of the World for Master Blaster

President assures he’ll not tolerate interference in World Cup selections
President Mahinda Rajapaksa claimed yesterday that his government would not interfere with any selection process for next month’s cricket World Cup and would not support any move to influence the selection of players who are unsuitable for the 14-nation showpiece which starts on February 19.
The President’s remarks effectively shuts the door on Sanath Jayasuriya whose refusal to retire at the age 41 has caused headaches for the selectors who picked him in a preliminary 30-member squad from which the final 15 members will be selected.
President Rajapaksa made his remarks when he met Sri Lanka Cricket interim committee officials last morning at his official residence in Colombo and told them that the wish of every Sri Lankan was to win the World Cup while highlighting the importance of the mentality of players for the big occasion according to a communiqué from his office.
“You must pick the best 15 players and not be worried about the whims and fancies of individuals”, President Rajapaksa told Sri Lanka Cricket officials which was an indirect reference to Jayasuriya who was discarded after a pathetic show at the T-20 World Cup last April.
Analysts believe that the President’s remarks would make the selectors comfortable to pick the right balance without Jayasuriya, a government Member of Parliament who is nowhere near the form of the 15 players likely to get the nod.
At yesterday’s meeting Sri Lanka Cricket interim committee chairman D. S. de Silva in turn gave the President an assurance that question marks over the completion of the three venues to host the World Cup in Sri Lanka would be laid to rest on January 15 when the grounds will be handed over to the International Cricket Council.
The three venues are the Premadasa stadium in Colombo, the Pallekele stadium in Kandy and the Suriyawewa stadium in Hambantota.
On the same day the President made an observation tour of the Premadasa Stadium to inspect the construction work.

From- Daily Mirror

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