What is the SLC selection policy?



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The most important aspect of selecting a team is to find the combination that will give the team the best opportunity to beat its opponents. There is no magic bullet when it comes to choosing the combinations that is best for a particular team. (Files)


by Sudat Pasqual


Those who forget history are doomed to repeat it has got to be one of the most over-used and clichéd terms in casual writing. It has been so over-used that it rarely even registers a smirk from readers these days.


Judging from the persistent team composition quagmire of Sri Lanka’s national cricket team, it is quite obvious that Sri Lanka’s national cricket selectors pay very little heed to history when they make their decisions. Or, they are true believers of Kurt Vonnegut’s take on the repetition of history which declares that we’re doomed to repeat the past no matter what.


Or, for that matter to the idea that the selection process should have a cohesive set of goals and a well-defined path to achieve those objectives.


Selecting a team of 11 players to play a game of cricket does not exactly require a brilliant intellect or exposure to post-secondary education. No doubt it would add value to the process, though.


A cricket team has a set of clearly identified positions. A cricket team has specialist batsmen, specialist bowlers, a specialist wicket keeper and sometimes a specialist captain. One can tweak that combination to include individuals who are skilled in more than one area or individuals who are extremely good in another area like fielding.


The most important aspect of selecting a team is to find the combination that will give the team the best opportunity to beat its opponents. There is no magic bullet when it comes to choosing the combinations that is best for a particular team.


A combination required for a Test match will most likely be different than what is required to be successful in the shorter formats and vice versa. However, all those combinations must be based on a clear idea that lays out the guideline to arrive at the combination. It maybe that in the Test format, the best combination for a team is five specialist batsman, four specialist bowlers, a wicket keeper and an all-rounder. In the shorter formats, the team probably will require more all-rounders and specialist fielders. Regardless, to be successful over time the selections must have a consistent pattern. A team to be consistently successful at the top level must project to the players what is required to make the cut. Then the players will make the necessary adjustments in their own game both physically and mentally to attain their goals.


Unfortunately, this school of thought has never taken root at Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC). Instead, selections have been driven by ad hoc and individualistic thinking. If there has been a pattern to SLC selections over the years, it has been that individual player considerations will always triumph team needs. We see that whenever the team is faced with replacing a successful player because the selection process invariably waited too long to groom a successor. That in turn lead to players over staying their prime and that in turn makes smooth transition a virtual impossibility.


Also the selection process has been corrupted by the brazen influence peddling of player-managers and club officials with political clout. Throw in Ministerial ignorance into the lot and you have a guaranteed recipe for disaster. Only the dullest of intelligence will say otherwise.


One of these days, maybe one of these days’ common sense and the best interests of the team will become the foundation for selection to a national team at Sri Lanka Cricket.


 


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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