Cricket - Sri Lanka defend selection of minister's son

Sri Lanka's board of selectors have defended their decision to name the son of a government minister in their squad for Sunday's one-off Twenty20 international with Bangladesh in Pallekele.

PA Sport
Cricket - Sri Lanka defend selection of minister's son

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Sri Lanka's Sanath Jayasuriya

Ramith Rambukwella, a 21-year-old all-rounder and son of media and information minister Keheliya Rambukwella, was given the nod despite a modest career to date featuring just two half-centuries and one four-wicket haul. His call-up has not been met enthusiastically by the Sri Lankan media, but chairman of selectors Sanath Jayasuriya defended his inclusion.

"Ramith is a left-hand batsman who bowls right arm off-spin, who can clear the boundaries and can hit hard," Jayasuriya told a press conference.

"He's someone who can play Twenty20 cricket in the middle order, and you need players like that in this format. We're bringing him on as a batting all-rounder who can bowl off-spin.

"We don't just bring in players who perform, we also bring in players with talent.

"There are plenty of players who haven't performed that well in club matches, but have played well in internationals. I've seen a lot of players like that.

"I'm not saying you can get picked even if you don't bat well in domestic cricket, I'm saying if you are talented, or you've made runs in the past, we will give those players an opportunity.

"We will consider any player. They don't just have to be under 23, even 28 to 30-year olds are considered, and we will try to take those players to the place they need to go."

The match comes following the conclusion of the one-day series, which ended in a 1-1 draw after Bangladesh's three-wicket win in Thursday's third and final match.

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