Later former Sri Lankan cricketer Asanka Gurusinha has been playing regularly at their side net sessions, closely observing the hosts preparations on the eve of the first Test against India. it has been slightly difficult to identify Gurusinha now as he played in a different role.
Gurusinha appointed last year in the dual roles of team manager-cum-selector. He dishes up the crucial link between the selectors and the players. But now the main challenge is to handle the exit of legends like Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara.
The 50-years-old Sir Lanka former said to TOI, “I don’t think (it’s a crisis). We’re working towards the 2019 World Cup. I’ve already moved away from transition because you can’t just keep saying we’re in it. The players understand their responsibility.”
“They need to be accountable for what they do, and they’re doing that well. My main goal is to create a culture in the team. We’re getting there slowly. The last three days (training session here) have shown me the hard-work that the backend team has put in is working.”
Asked about not producing star cricketer, Gurusinha said “Mahela and Sanga have retired not so long ago. There are young guys who I believe will be superstars soon. People might not know the names now, but I think by 2019, people will be talking about some names. So I’m not that worried. I know that they’ll be up there.”
Talking about their 1996 World Cup winning squad include – Sanath Jayasuriya as chief selector, Romesh Kaluwitharana as co-selector, Chaminda Vaas as bowling coach and Hashan Tillakaratne as batting coach.
Former said “We’re not employing ’96 WC stars or just former cricketers. We’re employing good staff. That’s the criteria that I’m using. If somebody is an ideal candidate to fill a position, we’ll recruit him, it’s not about ’96. And that’s the reason why we brought Hashan in.”
“He’s got experience of how to handle the pressures of Test cricket. And he’s been coaching for a long time. Vassy’s (came in for Chamapaka Ramanayke) experience is also important. We took Allan Donald to England. So we’ll be more specific on certain things. It’s interesting to work with my ex-teammates because I’ve spent so much time with them, and now we’re working with new talent.”
When asked about Sangakarra and Jayawardene, he said “I’ll use them as consultants anytime, but they’ve their own commitments. I know they’ll definitely help us support Sri Lanka cricket if they’re free.”