The Candidates

Mahela’s gone, time to figure out who should replace him.

We give you –The Candidates

Its time for the King.

Sangakkara is so obviously the first choice that it’s a bit hard to think anyone else will get it.

For so long Mahela’s no2, King Sanga’s ascendancy to the throne was written.

Verdict – Sangakkara knows international cricket inside out. He is a natural leader of men, and is one of those guys with a bit between their ears.

His personal game is built on hard work, aggression, knowing your limits and always bettering them. If he brings this into the captaincy role he cant go very wrong.He has the respect of the team and the cricket world. Has age on his side for an extended run at the job and ticks all the right boxes.

Sangakkara also has the best seat in the house, and would have learnt a lot from Mahela, the good, the bad and everything in between.


After King Sanga, there are 3 names that all stand a chance.

Murali’s name is not one Sri Lanka often associates with captaincy, and if he does get the job it might entirely be based on his seniority than anything else.

The parallel between Murali/Sanga and Kumble/Dhoni cannot be ignored. Murali and Kumble were/are aging warriors who demanded respect out of the sheer weight of their numbers, but everyone else knew that Dhoni and now Kumar are the best fit for the job.

Verdict– Is as senior as you can possibly get. You don’t take 1200 international wickets without having a brain to think batsmen out. And as a bowler he will know exactly what he wants to do on the field.

But the question is, after so many years of figuring out his game, does Murali have the capacity to do the same with the young team he will inherit and have the time to sort out their problems. At best he will go on till the next world cup, after which SL will be stuck with the same problem again.

Maharoof – people outside Sri Lanka might find this an odd name to be on the list, but after captaining the U-19, Faveez has been thought of as the long term option for SL for a while.

He would undoubtedly be the Grame Smith choice, but the question is whether he has the mettle to lead a side. Add to this the fact that he still hasn’t got a permanent spot in the test or ODI team, Maharoofs chances are at best an outside bet.

Verdict– at 24 he has age on his side. But with inconsistent performances and injury worries always around the corner it might be too early to bring him in.

His U-19 experience will count for nothing in the international arena, but Dhoni has proved that you dont need any to lead at this level.

Dilshan – if the recent 2020 match with India is to be an example of his leadership ability then it would be minor catastrophe if Dilshan is appointed as head of the other teams.

But seemingly in the form of his life he is virtually a guranteed a spot in both forms of the game. Has a bit of experience under his belt as well.

Verdict– If Dilshan captains like he bats, then Sri Lankan fans are going to be in for a few sleepless years. He doesn’t exhume the calmness that you need in the modern game, specially needed in the choatic world of a 2020.

If we are looking at the bottom line, Dilshan shouldn’t even be considered for the role.

Wild Card(s).

Tilina Kandamby – I know what you are thinking, but go with me. He leads his club in domestic cricket, he has led SL A to a memorable win over SA A in South Africa recently and is ready to cut his name in the national team.

The question is whether he has the courage to lead a team filled with seniors and egos, egos not in a bad sense but rather the giant personas in Sangakkara, Jayasuriya, Murali etc.

Verdict- a very unlikely choice, but his name would make at least the initial list of names before its short listed. Possibly a chance to hand him the vice captaincy in the ODI format. And it would help his cause if he can get picked for the test team too.

Damith S– the only man that can possibly pip Kumar to the throne. With his natural flair and ability to needle the opposition, Damith would make a great sledger – a vital cog in a captains armory.

If made captain he has promised to attack with  2 slips at all times, and bowl Splendid Mendis unchanged throughout the day, for as he says, the fans deserve to see the best in action.

Verdict– under Damith there will be no place for Jehan Mubarak, whose charmed cricket career will come to an abrubt end, where he will be packd off to boarding school in Washington. Dilhara Fernando will be dressed up in an all red leather suit and air lifted to the middle of a bull herd in the Serengeti.

Ruthless in his approach he once kicked a fielder in the backside for dropping a catch off him. This kind of in-your-face leadership is what Sri Lanka needs and under Damith, SL might well claim top awards.


  1. Rat said:

    Kumar is the obvious choice and I won’t complain if he is appointed. However I was concerned when Mahela mentioned at the press con that he and Kumar had similar thinking patterns. If so then whats the point? What we need is a change quite obviously!

    No question Mahela was way more agrressive on the field when he started….. but as I saw first hand in the last ODI series at home that aggression has gone! I hope Kumar is like the old Mahela

    February 13, 2009
  2. Sachintha said:

    Kumar needs to write less articles on cricinfo and concentrate more on his game if he gets the job.

    And of course DamithS would make a good captain, but don’t be so sure about sending Muba to a distant land. His dad might very well be able to melt you with his “Kiri-Pani”…

    On a serious note, good article mate. Sanga should be the obvious, and to be frank only option. Murali is a legend when it comes to bowling, but I don’t think he’s got it in him to captain the team…

    I seriously hope Kapu would make some good runs.. cos he should be a very good candidate to the vice captaincy and later to the captaincy. But if he’s not being able to even retain his place… no point in talking about captaincy…

    February 13, 2009
  3. Vivek said:

    during the inaugural afro asia cup in south africa,murali was the captain for a lengthy period of time after inzy got injured,and he isnt ur typical “captain kool”.infact he went a notch up with.,he was hyperactive,…..and typical of the great man,he was prety honest about the stint and stated that captincy is now his cup of tea…….Sanga is definatly the man, the King.for whom the people of this genration have been waiting.i think after shane warne he may just be the next best cricketing brain .future wil tell…but as of now…in the words of damith …”ITS TIME FOR THE KING”

    February 13, 2009
  4. Vivek said:

    “captincy is now his cup of tea”

    not * his cup of tea

    February 13, 2009
  5. Dulan said:

    I vote for Damith, but he might want to give Mubarak a few more chances, just not at the expense of Kandamby 🙂

    February 13, 2009
  6. Kesh said:

    mahela keeps on saying there’s an obvious choice for captaincy so i’m 100% sure that it’s gonna be sanga….

    i think Maharoof will end up with the vice captaincy at least in odis…..

    plus i have given up on mubarak now…. it’s useless …. there’s a tiny bit of hope for dilhara though idk. things not looking good…. no support for muba in slcricket or cricketanytime now on…

    February 15, 2009

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