Sri Lanka Cricket attempted some damage control late on Friday, stung by criticism over the manner in which it has handled the issue of changing its coach, and its revolving door policy on Captains and selectors.

In an “urgent press release” issued on Friday afternoon, it assured “the Cricket loving public here in Sri Lanka and to our numerous fans that support Sri Lanka Cricket globally that we will reap the benefits of these changes in the fullness of time.”

Defending the choice of Mahela Jayewardene, 35, to lead the team for an ODI series – when his own form has been poor – SLC said, he was appointed “taking into consideration his capabilities, skill level coupled with his authoritative and modest personality as a leader, who will guide our youngsters and the team to greater heights. This change will also help Dilshan to concentrate more on his game, to play his Cricket with a free mind by not taking the burden of Captaincy on his shoulder.  We strongly believe Dilshan’s contribution will be much more if he is relived of additional responsibility. This will help the teams overhaul performance.”

Upali Dharmadasa, president, Sri Lanka Cricket, praised both Dilshan and coach Marsh.  Two days after sacking him, SLC finally thanked former Australian opening batsman and three-month coach, Geoff Marsh. “We extend our sincere gratitude to Geoffrey Marsh. We realize it is no easy task to take over and produce results overnight. Sri Lanka Cricket has to move on.

“We need to reach Cricketing Excellence, sooner rather than later. We had done a lot of constructive research to source the best man for the job, Graham Ford of South Africa came to our reckoning based on the fact that he can cope with the demand  a 21st Century Coach has to cope with in the International arena. He has had an excellent track record not only as a Coach but also in man management. Very similar to Australia’s most successful Coach of the 21st Century John Buchkernan, Graham too  has had limited exposure in the International arena as a player, however the track record of both these gentleman in their Coaching capabilities is far beyond compare,” he said.

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