Unprecedented Controversy: Sri Lanka's Newly-appointed Chief Selector Upul Tharanga is still a First-class Cricketer

December 05, 2023

In a surprising and unprecedented move, Sri Lanka's Sports Minister Harin Fernando has announced the appointment of Upul Tharanga, a current first-class cricketer, as the Chief Cricket Selector for the national team. This decision has sparked widespread speculation and raised eyebrows within the cricketing community, as it appears to be the first instance globally where an active first-class player has been chosen for such a pivotal administrative role.

Upul Tharanga, a former opener for the Sri Lankan national team, had recently stepped down from international cricket but continues to participate in first-class matches, notably playing for Nondescripts Cricket Club as recently as November. His inclusion in overseas cricket leagues further adds to the unusual nature of this appointment, as it brings into question the time and focus Tharanga can dedicate to the responsibilities of the Chief Selector role.

Critics argue that the Chief Cricket Selector position demands undivided attention, impartiality, and a comprehensive understanding of the intricacies involved in talent identification and team selection. Tharanga's dual role as an active player and Chief Selector introduces a potential conflict of interest, leaving room for concerns about fairness in team selection processes.