Speaking to the Daily News de Mel said, “I will be resigning from the team manager’s post from the end of this two-match Test series against England due to personal reasons. I took this post of team manager on a temporary basis.”
Sri Lanka’s hopes were also shattered ahead of the second Test against England in Galle with the news that original captain Dimuth Karunaratne will not be available due to a thumb injury.
Opening batsman Karunaratne pulled out just before the first of two Test matches against England in Galle.
Karunaratne is an important batsman in the Lankan batting line-up, as he has scored 4,657 runs and only second to veteran Angelo Mathews (6079 runs) along with acting captain Dinesh Chandimal (4035 runs) in Test cricket from the present Sri Lankan squad.
"Dimuth was suffering discomfort from his fractured left thumb while scoring his 10th Test hundred in the second Test against South Africa earlier this month.
He was on pain-killers and tried his best to give his best shot to play in the second Test, but unfortunately he was not feeling comfortable to play with the injury. So we have released Dimuth, Kusal Mendis, Lahiru Kumara, Minod Bhanuka, and Nuwan Pradeep from the 22 man squad, they are heading home today” said de Mel.
“Most probably the second Test line up will comprise Kusal Perera, Lahiru Thirimanne, Oshada Fernando, Angelo Mathews, Dinesh Chandimal (capt.), Niroshan Dickwella, and there will be a toss up for number five position between all-rounder Dasun Shanaka and debutant off-spinning middle-order batsman Ramesh Mendis. Remaining players will be Dilruwan Perera, Lasith Embuldeniya, Asitha Fernando, Suranga Lakmal or Wanindu Hasaranga. I believe the team will do well in the upcoming second Test,” said De Mel.
When spoke to de Mel just on the eve of the first Test, he clearly explained why he chooses and persist with Thirimanna ahead of other batsmen in the playing XI.
He said, “Earlier I have told that Thirimanna has tremendous potential in him as a batsman; that’s why I persisted with him ahead of others and end of the day he came up with a brilliant century and proved his capability."
"I don’t want any credit for it and all the credit should definitely go to Thirimanna for his fantastic knock,” concluded de Mel who always doesn’t want to get any credit for him, but give it to players whenever they do well.