COLOMBO - Sri Lanka's cricket selectors on Wednesday sacked Dinesh Chandimal as Twenty20 captain and replaced him with Lasith Malinga, while Angelo Mathews was retained as the Test and one-day skipper. Chandimal, 24, opted out of the last three matches, including the semi-final and final, of the recent World Twenty20 in Bangladesh due to poor batting form, leaving Malinga in charge.
Sri Lanka went on to beat the West Indies in the semi-final and India in the final to win their first major title since 1996 when they bagged the 50-over World Cup. All-rounder Mathews was retained as the Test and one-day captain till the end of next year's World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, a release from Sri Lanka Cricket said.
Lahiru Thirimanne, a 24-year-old left-hand batsman, was promoted to vice-captain in all three formats, the release added. Sri Lanka have yet to appoint a new coach after Englishman Paul Farbrace resigned on Tuesday to take up a possible assignment with England. Farbrace, 46, has been linked to the post of assistant coach to Peter Moores, who was named England's chief coach last week replacing Zimbabwean Andy Flower.
Sri Lanka are due to play two one-day matches against Ireland in Dublin early next month ahead of a tour of England that comprises one T20 international, five one-dayers and two Tests.
Sri Lanka players resolve pay dispute: The pay dispute between Sri Lanka Cricket and its 13 contracted players ended on Wednesday when the latter agreed to accept 10 percent of the participation fees from ICC and Asian Cricket Council (ACC) events. The players had demanded 20 percent of the participation fees which Sri Lanka Cricket would not sanction.
The players were due to sign their central contracts by March 1 but the impasse dragged on for nearly two months. A three-member committee appointed by Sri Lanka Cricket comprising treasurer Nuski Mohamed, CEO Ashley de Silva and chief selector Sanath Jayasuriya held talks with Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews on Tuesday.
"After discussions, the committee in consultation with the office bearers of the SLC's Executive Committee, offered 10 percent of the participation fee from the ICC (International Cricket Council) and ACC events to the players which will be applied for the next five years and will be non-negotiable," said an SLC statement. "The above offer was accepted by the players and they have agreed to sign the annual contracts in due course." Sri Lanka travel to England early next month to play two tests, five one-dayers and a T20 international.
Vithanage, Priyanjan get T20 call-ups:
Sri Lanka have included batsmen Kithuruwan Vithanage and Ashan Priyanjan in their 15-man squad for the one-off T20 that kicks off their tour of England in May. Slow-bowling allrounder Chaturanga de Silva, who was initially included in the World T20 squad as cover for Rangana Herath, has also been named. Herath has been rested, while the team will be without the veteran pair of Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara, who retired from T20 internationals after the World T20.
England T20 Squad: Lasith Malinga (capt), Lahiru Thirimanne (vice-capt), Kusal Perera, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Angelo Mathews, Dinesh Chandimal, Kithuruwan Vithanage, Ashan Priyanjan, Thisara Perera, Nuwan Kulasekara, Chaturanga de Silva, Sachithra Senanayake, Suranga Lakmal, Seekkuge Prasanna, Ajantha Mendis
Ireland ODIs Squad: Angelo Mathews (capt), Lahiru Thirimanne (vice-capt), Kusal Perera, Upul Tharanga, Niroshan Dickwella, Dinesh Chandimal, Kithuruwan Vithanage, Ashan Priyanjan, Thisara Perera, Nuwan Kulasekara, Chaturanga de Silva, Sachithra Senanayake, Suranga Lakmal, Dhammika Prasad, Ajantha Mendis.