Be patient with young players, urges Sanath


by Rex Clementine

Chairman of Selectors Sanath Jayasuriya has urged the public to be patient with young players if they are to see the best of them. The 44-year-old former captain stresses that young players need to be given adequate time to develop into match winners.

"It’s not easy for young players to be consistent. There is a lot of scrutiny going on and there’s lot of competition. Once you identify talent it’s crucial to persevere with that talent," Sanath said.

Since being appointed as Chairman of Selectors early this year, Sanath named two young players to lead Sri Lanka. Angelo Mathews became the youngest man to captain Sri Lanka in Test cricket while Dinesh Chandimal became the youngest Sri Lankan to lead the nation in ODI and T-20 cricket although those selections didn’t get much public support.

"There will be failures, but in the long term we can see the results coming through. Young players need to be given time to develop and once they develop they will produce results, that has been my experience," he said.

"When I captained the side for four years one of the things that I tried to do was to give young players a consistent run. If you take the 2003 World Cup in South Africa, Kumar Sangakkara failed to make a single half-century throughout the tournament. Mahela Jayawardene really struggled during that tournament and he failed to make double figures even in one game. There was lot of criticism and we were under pressure to make changes. But we stuck with them. We knew that they were immensely talented, but they were just going through a bad phase," Jayasuriya said.

"Look at what those two players have achieved today. They have both made over 10,000 runs in Test and ODI cricket and they have won the country many games. I stress that once you identify talent, you have to persevere with that talent," Jayasuriya further said.

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