Cricket: Jayasuriya takes over as Sri Lanka captain

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SRI LANKA have appointed Sanatha Jayasuriya as captain in place of Arjuna Ranatunga, who has been severely criticised following the country's dismal performance at the World Cup. Sri Lankan Sports Ministry officials also said that Mahela Jayawardene would be vice-captain in place of Aravinda de Silva.

However, Siddath Wettimuny, the head of the selection committee, said that Ranatunga and De Silva were retained in the pool of players from which the squad would be selected for the forthcoming triangular series in Sri Lanka against Australia and India and the three-Test series against Australia.

The opener Matthew Elliott has been dropped from the Australian Cricket Board's 25-man list of contracted players for the 1999-2000 season. The fast bowlers Michael Kasprowicz and Andrew Bichel were also dropped, along with the spinners Gavin Robertson and Brad Young.

The promising batsman Simon Katich was the surprise addition while the all-rounders Andrew Symonds and Shane Lee and the bowlers Adam Dale and Colin Miller were also included for the first time.