Sangakkara: claims that agents influence selections 'absurd' and 'malicious'

By Staff Writers | July 9, 2017

Kumar Sangakkara has responded to allegations claiming he and other recent Sri Lanka captains selected players for the national team based on orders from their manager.

Former Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara has criticised rumours claiming his manager Charlie Austin influenced national team selections.

"I think the theory that a player manager manipulates team selection is an absurd assumption and a malicious one," Sangakkara told Sri Lanka's Sunday Times.

"Any captain's success depends on having the most competent and skilled players in his team, not players he personally likes or a manager likes. A captain's reputation is built on his team winning. His longevity depends on the same, not in pandering to his manager or agent."

Sangakkara added that the captain and coach are not part of Sri Lanka's selection panel.

"They can be asked for input by the selectors but the final decisions are taken by the selectors," he explained. "[Selectors] not only select the team but also nominate the captain."

[ Also read: Mahela Jayawardene responds to player agent rumours ]

In recent days, sections of the Sri Lankan media have targeted Sangakkara's manager and close friend Austin, a British national domiciled in Sri Lanka for nearly two decades who has invested in several businesses in the island, claiming players managed by him are being controlled and influenced by him, while social media posts with xenophobic and racist undertones have falsely claimed Austin earns commissions when players managed by him represent Sri Lanka.

This falsehood has misled some fans, who now incorrectly believe agents benefit financially when their players feature in Tests, ODIs and T20Is, which has given credence to rumours that Sri Lanka selections are manipulated by agents for financial gain.

Present and former cricket board officials have in the past openly expressed their dislike for cricketers' managers and organisations such as the players' association who safeguard players' rights and interests during wage disputes and contract negotiations with the board.

SLC officials have a record of attempting to nullify the players' ability to effectively negotiate when wage and contract disputes arise by hindering their access to independent legal advice via their managers.

© Island Cricket


Anonymous Truth's picture

Can he deny the influence of Charlie Austin in Sri Lanka's Worldcup final lossto India? It was him who stopped Mathews from playing that all important final.

Anonymous's picture

What a stupid first comment. You must be the only person who does not know that Godfather Mahinda Rajapaksa was the main selector back in those World Cup days. He is the reason Aravinda resigned as a selector without even a whimper. Mahinda made changes to the team based on suggestions from his astrologer and other faith healers like Eliyantha White! Those are the facts. If Aravinda spoke the truth he would have had a white van at his house. Give 5 more years and after Mahinda and Gothabaya are locked up and in jail the details will come out.

P. Patel's picture

Hello from India! You people are not so smart. Very funny people Sri Lankans. :D

Anonymous's picture

I believe what Sanga says and it makes sense. Move on now. Let us focus on Ford's sudden resignation and the fact that our fielding coach is now head coach. Let us focus on Sumathipala and his board and the dire state our cricket is in today. These rumours about agents are spread by people who want to distract from what is really going on.

Anonymous1's picture

Shown below are few excerpts from two articles which appeared in TIMES Sunday of July 9th 2017.

Article 1 : Mahela says he bats for player-manager concept

"Speaking exclusively to the Sunday Times, Jayawardena said: “The general practice is the captain and the coach sit along with the national selectors and once the consultations are over, they leave the selectors alone to complete the task on their own. So there is very little chance for the captain to influence the selection process. On the other hand, all the national cricket selectors have played the game at the highest level and they know what cricket is all about.”

Jayawardena asserted that besides the selectors, the coach and the captain and a few others are also privy to this information on the team selection. It may be another senior player or a high cricket official. In that line of information the player-manager arrives quite down the line".

Article 2:

Thilanga and Kumar agree that player managers should be regulated

"Sangakkara said, however, that according to SLC selection/selectors policy, neither the captain nor coach is part of the selection panel.

Sumathipala however disagrees on this. He says captains request have always been prevailed when it comes to the final Xi. “The captain was given the last option of picking the XI because he has to go the middle and execute his plans. So, the captain should have a strategy against the opposition, how to get the opposition out and their approach in batting. Each captain has his own way of approaching the team. I think we are now on track, very focused and confident that the strategically planned team would be the one which will walk into the team,” Sumathipala said".

My Comment:

It seems that Mahela, Kumar and Sumathipala are contradicting each other. Or Is it a ploy by MJ, KS and Sumathipala to confuse the public and to leave them in a "limbo"?

What is the actual selection process? Only selectors or Selectors and Captain or politicians or aliens or school or religion or bribes or.......?

Anonymous's picture

The last line in the article is priceless. We know why SLC executive committee members do not like agents!

Anonymous1's picture

The following comment caught my attention.

Submitted by P. Patel (not verified) on July 9, 2017 - 07:03.#3
Hello from India! You people are not so smart. Very funny people Sri Lankans.

My Response:

Hello from Sri Lanka!

I am not really sure whether you are right Mr or Mrs. Patel. But, I am very sure that Sri Lankans are not that VIOLENT like your people who are ready to burn down your players houses when India loses.
May be the time has come for the Sri Lankan fans to also show their feelings about Sri Lankan players on and off the field instead of dancing all "match" long to Papare music.

Anonymous's picture

Some people can't trust Sanga. They think he is being dishonest to help his agent. Can you believe the absurdity? Will Sangakkara destroy his reputation and lie about something that can easily be revealed? You can ask any player who has been signed by this agent to confirm if they paid commissions when they get selected to play bilateral international matches. So why will an agent want their player selected over another if they don't get anything from it? It's an absurd theory to say agents are influencing selections. Looks like selectors are trying to hide behind this BS.

Great Bat's picture

@Anonymous1, take a bow my good friend. Well said. Unfortunately we're very different to them. We have been hit pillar to post by teams which we used thrash before, but we always move forward thinking bad days are behind us. Unfortunately we're having bad days consistently. Unless some drastic moves are made by removing Thilanga and his buddy Dayasiri from their positions nothing is going to chat. That is the harsh reality. We have the players but there is too much politics.

Nathali's picture
Member since:
11 July 2017
Last activity:
28 weeks 12 hours

This is for the smart person named P. Patel who had submitted a comment for all the Sri Lankans on July 9, 2017 - 07:03.

To Mr Smart Patel,
I am not going to comment about the stupidness or the smartness of the Sri Lankans or the Indians. But here is a fact to think about how smart you guys are : We Sri Lankans never get heart-attacks or burn down cricketer's houses for loosing a match as Indians do lol. No matter whether they loose or win we respect them and wish them to play well in the future.

From a Sri Lankan.

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