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‘We were clean and transparent’ - Aravinda de Silva


“We have got yet about three weeks to complete our tenure. But we thought of resigning early, so the top officials have ample time to appoint a new committee,” De Silva said.

‘We were clean and transparent’ - Aravinda de Silva


The selection panel of Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) headed by former batting ace Aravinda de Silva who stepped down yesterday (April 6), held an official press briefing to explain their decision.
De Silva who headed the press conference as the chief selector said that Sri Lanka cricket should move on focusing the next ICC Cricket World Cup which will be held in Australia and New Zealand in 2015.
“We have got yet about three weeks to complete our tenure. But we thought of resigning early, so the top officials have ample time to appoint a new committee,” De Silva said.
De Silva said a fresh selection panel should come and begin working with long and short term plans.
“We thought this was the correct way to help Sri Lanka cricket, by stepping down and letting a new set of selectors do a good job. There may by others who may think differently and better than us.”
De Silva who willingly took on the blame for Sri Lanka’s failure in the World Cup final against India said none of his fellow members were politically influenced or forced in selections. 
“We always had a different plan for each team in the World Cup. We followed that strategy right throughout and mostly emerged successfully. But on that particular day we failed to defend a good total. Many queries may arise on the selection of the final team which may be questionable. But had we taken those vital catches the game could have turned the other way and we would have been praised.”
“Every option that was included into the team throughout the tournament was thoroughly considered. We agreed on some things and disagreed on many. We argued a lot but as I said earlier we as the selection committee take the blame for whatever failures,” de Silva added.
“Disappointment is so much that sometimes I cannot bare it. I even told skipper Kumar (Sangakkara) that we got a golden opportunity to prove that there is a better combination that the 1996 winning team. To have not succeeded is disappointing. But the players gave their utmost best,” de Silva said on the outcome of the final match at Mumbai. 
Answering a question on weather they would continue if requested by the Minister of Sports, de Silva said: “We have our personal and professional commitments.  When we took over we had conditions. We said we would not like to see anyone interfering in our jobs as selectors and many in our panel were not able to travel overseas with the team. After agreeing to both conditions we took over and we must say though it was a tough period, we can be proud of doing a sincere and fair job. But I have no intention in continuing, I think others in the panel are of the same view,” he said.
Sri Lanka skipper Kumar Sangakkara on Tuesday stepped down from the captaincy and the very next day Mahela Jayawardena who deputized said he would resign from the team post. Later, on Wednesday, de Silva and the selection committee comprising Ranjit Fernando, Amal Silva and Shabir Asgerally tendered their resignation to the Minister of Sports, Mahindananda Aluthgamage.
Experts and fans of the sport are of the view that the crucial and sudden resignations of two top positions of the cricket team and the selection committee are results of political pressure.    
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