Apr 19, Colombo: Sri Lanka's Minister of Sports Harin Fernando stressed that unlike his predecessors he does not get involved in team selections and he only approves the selections made by the official selectors, who have been appointed for the purpose.
Responding to the criticism of recent selection of the Sri Lankan team to the ICC World Cup to be held in England this year, the Minister said selecting players is the responsibility of the selectors.
"First and foremost a minister does not get involved in selections. We have selectors paid by Sri Lanka cricket to do that job. Once the selection process is done it comes for approval to the minister," he said in a Facebook post.
The Minister also commenting on the response to the appointment of Dimuth Karunaratne to lead the team said it is unfortunate to see people bring up religion and other pointless arguments to the selection process as religion or race should not matter in sports or anything else.
Following is the Minister Harin Fernando's statement:
"With regards to the recent selection of the WC team to England wales. I wish to clarify few facts. First and foremost a minister does not get involved in selections. We have selectors paid by Sri Lanka cricket to do that job. Once the selection process is done it comes for approval to the minister. The captaincy and the players were all picked by selectors. The fact that Dimuth was a josephian is irrelevant to his appointment. Angelo Mathews and Thisara Perera was too. Unfortunate to see people bring up religion and other pointless arguments as to the selection process. For those who do not know Dimuth K went to joes but is a strong Buddist. I believe whats ones religion or race should not matter in sport or for anything for that matter. What I realized over the last few months of being a sports minister is that you need to have team work in a team sport. This is the responsibility the selectors have given him and I believe the current team will do there best and wish them the very best at all times. We do not lack in talent. It’s the confidence and hard work that will get us over the line. As Unfortunately only 15 men get this opportunity of a life time. Hope they do justice and we as citizens can only support them and get behind them. My approach was to never interfere with selection as my predecessors did. I am certain all of their victory. I will back them with all my heart and soul. Make sure we play to our true potential. I always believed a “good player may not be the best captain and a good captain may not be the best player” There will be 11 men on the ground with different jobs in hand. Social media and print media criticize but end of the day there are paid people to do the job. I thank all selectors and SLC for the effort that was put in. My job from now will be to be close to the boys motivate them and make sure mother lanka regain its lost glory. I wish the team and management the very best for the upcoming games."