Colombo: Sri Lanka Cricket's (SLC) selection committee chairman Aravinda de Silva on Tuesday stood by his panel and took full responsibility for making last-minute changes to the team for the ICC World T20.
"All decisions were taken in the best interest of the team and we take responsibility," de Silva, the hero of Sri Lanka's 1996 World Cup win, said.
He replaced the committee headed by Kapila Wijegoonawardana, whose committee was sacked by the Sports Ministry just a few days before the team departed.
File photo of Aravinda de Silva. Getty ImagesFile photo of Aravinda de Silva. Getty Images
De Silva's committee, which also included Kumar Sangakkara, made changes to the squad picked by the previous committee.
Sri Lanka fared poorly and failed to make it to the semifinals in a woeful defence of their title won in 2014.
De Silva defended the decision to include Lahiru Thirmanne in the squad after he had been overlooked by the previous committee for poor form.
"Thirimanne is the most technically sound batsman we have right now. He needs to be backed. Marvan Atapattu was still kept in the team after making six ducks, Sanath Jayasuriya was brought up the order after his repeated failures in the middle order," de Silva said.
On Lasith Malinga's spat with the selectors, de Silva said all decisions on the pacer was taken in consultation with him.
Malinga resigned as captain just before the original team was selected. He was named in the final squad and travelled with the team before withdrawing on fitness grounds.
"His fitness will be proved soon when he plays in the IPL," de Silva said.