De Mel confirms Sangakkara as captain
Sri Lanka’s selectors have confirmed that Kumar Sangakkara, the long-standing vice-captain to Mahela Jayawardene will take over the role as captain of the national cricket team. Once Mahela Jayawardene announced he will step down from captaincy after the Test series in Pakistan, the obvious choice for the captaincy role was Sangakkara, who had been Jayawardene’s deputy for three years and the confirmation about his elevation to leadership role came yesterday.
"Kumar is the obvious choice for captaincy. He’s been a terrific performer for the national cricket team and has been an incredible role model. He’s been the deputy for Mahela for three years and he’ll take over the leadership role from Mahela in all three forms of the game," Ashantha de Mel, the Chairman of Cricket Selectors told ‘Sunday Island’.
"The selectors had a chat about Mahela’s successor and we have no doubt that Kumar is the suitable person to take over. We spoke to Kumar when he was in Pakistan and he has agreed to take over," de Mel added.
"We initially thought that we will name Kumar ahead of the home series against Zimbabwe, but now that that series has been postponed, we have to wait till the Twenty-20 World Cup to hand over the reigns," de Mel added.
The selectors are yet to decide on Sangakkara’s deputy. Initially Tillekeratne Dilshan was seen as a possible candidate, but de Mel said the selectors are looking for a person who is younger than the captain appointed. Sangakkara will turn 32 in October while Dilshan will turn 33 in the same month.
"For the role of vice-captain we need to look at a person whom we can groom to be the leader of the team one day. The person who fits into the role needs to be a permanent member in the side and we need to find out who will fit in that position," de Mel added.