The rot: from where it all began | Page 3 | Daily News

The rot: from where it all began

Sri Lanka Cricket today finds itself in a messy state of affairs today because of the events that took place on March 8, 2016 when the current administration wielded its powers to throw out the selection committee headed by former Sri Lanka fast bowler Kapila Wijegunawardene and replace it with an adhoc committee to meet its own ends. The manner in which it was carried out was to say the least bordered on dictatorial lines and it took place on the eve of an important event as the ICC World Twenty20 tournament where Sri Lanka was to defend their title.

The changes done to the selection committee that was performing a wonderful task in rebuilding the side following a poor 2015 Cricket World Cup exit in Australia and New Zealand had long term and disastrous effects on the country’s cricket. It has led to two unprecedented defeats at the hands of two nations ranked lower than Sri Lanka – Bangladesh (in Tests) and Zimbabwe (in ODIs) that hurt the cricket loving nation’s pride, and to rub salt on the festering wound - a right royal drubbing from India where Sri Lanka was further humiliated by a 5-0 whitewash in an ODI series at home for the first time notwithstanding the crushing 3-0 defeat suffered in the Tests.

Today Sri Lanka Cricket finds itself struggling to put together a team of competent people to form a selection committee after the existing one headed by former captain Sanath Jayasuriya had resigned at the end of the Indian series on September 7.

The first signs of alleged meddling with team selections and direct influence over cricket matters the present SLC administration headed by Thilanga Sumathipala stands accused of today began with the dismissal of the Wijegunawardene selection committee that also comprised former Sri Lanka cricketers Amal Silva, Brendon Kuruppu and Hemantha Wickremaratne. They had already selected the squads for the T20 Asia Cup and the World T20 to meet with the ICC deadline.

What transpired thereafter is a clear breach of meddling with team selections. Following the Asia Cup the SLC hierarchy surprisingly obtained an extension from the ICC to extend the deadline to declare the final World T20 squad and having done so tried to bring pressure on the Wijegunawardene selection committee to re-select the squad with Angelo Mathews as captain. In the original squad Lasith Malinga was named the captain but he surprisingly tended his resignation after the Asia Cup when he suspected sinister moves were being made behind the scenes without his knowledge. The selection committee stood firm with their decision and informed the Minister of Sports with copies to the Secretary Ministry of Sports and all top officials of SLC notifying him that “there are moves afoot to interfere” with the T20 World Cup team officially ratified by the Minister. The selection committee further stated that they would only “even consider” such an undertaking if written instructions are received from the Sports Minister.

The selection committee however met again and made changes to the World T20 squad to replace the injured players, but the changes made are ignored by the SLC hierarchy. On the same day (March 8) the national selection committee is informed by the Director-General that they are sacked by the Sports Minister and a new selection committee comprising Aravinda de Silva, Kumar Sangakkara, Romesh Kaluwitharana and Lalith Kaluperuma is appointed for a period of one month. Last minute changes are made and two youngsters picked on “merit” are unceremoniously and unfairly hauled out of the squad and replaced with two other players one of whom wasn’t even declared in the provisional squad of 25 players. These two talented youngsters turn up all dressed up to travel to India but told they are not boarding the aircraft.

The sacked selection committee is told that the official letters of removal shall be sent across the following day. These letters allegedly never arrived. The appointment and removal of National Selection Committees are expedited through a “Gazette notification” conforming to the Sports Law. In that aspect some pertinent questions that beg answers for are; was the National Selection Committee officially removed through a Gazette notification as warranted under the laws of the land? Was the new National Selection Committee officially appointed through a Gazette notification? If affirmative, were these functions carried out on a Poya day (March 9, 2016)? If they were not, then these changes were in breach of the law? Perhaps the newly enacted “Right to Information Act” (RIA) can provide answers to these important questions.

The consequences of such an act carried out by the SLC hierarchy is what we witness today and the question that needs to be asked is aren’t the four ex-cricketers who volunteered to carry out the dirty deeds of the present administration need to take complete responsibility for the depths to which cricket in this country has sadly plummeted ?


 

There are 3 Comments

I beg to differ in my assessment. We were sunk much earlier than 2016! Has everyone forgotten the past so quickly? Political patronage - the nuances of a word, which people like Sanath Jayasuriya will NOT understand, is the beginning of our end; the inability of of our former greats to contribute, is another cause; the Board led an illeterate crook, who inherited his parent ill-gotten booky wealth is what is killing us. Will you publish this?

All problem begin after appoint mavan as coach

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