While Sri Lanka Cricket is in government-imposed limbo, the national selection committee under has lobbied the government to appoint Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene, Aravinda de Silva and Roshan Mahanama as cricket consultants for SLC.
Generally, Sangakkara and Jayawardene are kept at arm’s length by the board – the pair constantly critical of the self-interest they believe is rampant in Sri Lanka’s cricket administration. But with the board is temporarily defunct, and with the government now essentially running cricket in the country, the selectors have seen an opening to get them involved in officially shaping the nation’s cricket. Mahanama and de Silva, who also have at times had a strained relationship with SLC’s elected officials, have voiced ideas on how cricket in Sri Lanka might be improved as well.
In addition to getting those four on board as general consultants, the selectors have also requested that Muttiah Muralitharan be brought on board as a spin-bowling consultant.
Whether these former players are happy to take on these roles, and whether there is enough time for them to make any tangible impact, remains to be seen. Board elections may be held sometime over the next few months, after which – depending on who is voted in – the likes of Jayawardene and Sangakkara may be unwelcome once more. In the past, the pair, along with de Silva, have advocated for a restructuring of the SLC constitution, even submitting official reports to the sports ministry over the past year. Little, however, has come of those recommendations, for now.
Previously, Jayawardene had also devised a provincial domestic cricket structure focused on long-term growth, only for that plan to be scrapped when the board headed by Thilanga Sumathipala was voted in.
Sports minister Faiszer Mustapha, who was officially informed of the selectors’ requests on Wednesday, initially appeared amenable to the idea of appointing these players in the roles the selectors have suggested. He also said that he would like to see the SLC constitution changed, but had not offered anything concrete on how it should change, or when.