Stop harassing Chandimal says Arjuna


by Rex Clementine

Legendary former Test captain Arjuna Ranatunga has urged Sri Lanka Cricket to stop harassing Dinesh Chandimal. The 27-year-old was surprisingly snubbed for the first two games of the five match series and although the selectors had promised to draft him into the squad, he was overlooked for the third ODI as well.

"Dinesh Chandimal is a naturally gifted player and you don’t find talents like him in the country. He is a rare talent and I am pretty certain he is the future. He is going to win you lot of matches. He was our best batsman last year averaging 59 and at the age of 27 has done wonderfully well having already scored four ODI hundreds. So what more do you want," Ranatunga told The Island after learning Chandimal’s continuous snub.

"I am surprised that Sanath Jayasuriya being a selector, he has forgotten his past. It took Sanath more than 40 games to score his first half-century. He was never comfortable earlier on in his career. The team management and the selectors faced lot of pressure those days, but we backed him as we knew that he was our future. Look at what he ended up with. I am sad that Sanath is not doing the same with younger players," Ranatunga, who was Jayasuriya’s first captain, said.

"I am bitterly disappointed with what these people have done with Chandimal. They have destroyed him. His confidence is shattered. I saw him batting against India in the Galle Test two years ago and he was so creative and showed brilliant temperament. The current day administration is very good at killing rare talent," noted Ranatunga.

The selectors have often criticised Chandimal’s Strike Rate in ODIs although he hasn’t done too badly possessing a Strike Rate of 75.

"These people are talking nonsense. Sanath Jayasuriya has a Strike Rate of 91, but Asanka Gurusinha has a Strike Rate of only 60. Both batsmen were extremely vital for the team. You can’t have six Sanath Jayasurias in a team nor can you have six Asanka Gurusinhas in a team. You need a nice mixture. The role Gurusinha played during our successful World Cup campaign was as good as that of the role Jayasuriya played. People should be identified for specific roles," noted Ranatunga.

"When offered an IPL contract, Chandimal was the only guy who turned it down and said that he needed to prepare for the England series. He did extremely well in that tour. I am wondering whether those who benefited from the IPL, including Sanath, are snubbing him as a result of that," concluded Ranatunga.

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