The Good, the Bad and
thinking about the present context of local cricket my memory goes
back about two decades when we watched a bloody western of the “Dollar
Series” the last of which was called –THE GOOD, THE
BAD AND THE UGLY. To my mind leaving out the western part of it,
this is the best that one can call the present day status of Lankan
First let us talk about the good. Once again a peep into local cricket
three decades back when the Maharaja vs Ceylon Tobacco match was
as good as a present day ODI. It had at its start which covered
almost the entire composition of the then national team and the
rest were good as the others who had already won their caps. However
with the passage of time both companies phased out their ‘passion’
for cricket till it was the turn of the others to pick up the pieces
– mind you this was in Mercantile Cricket.
Sri Lanka is unique in many ways. In cricket too
they had their unique qualities. In Sri Lanka unlike in any other
country it was the Club Cricket that took deep root among its populace.
It came to the public view in many faces. First with the tag of
Daily News Trophy (which later became the division III tournament),
P. Sara Trophy, Lakspray Trophy, Singer Trophy followed by a lean
period when no commercial outfit worth its salt considered the local
premier league worth a sponsorship.
However on Wednesday, once again the Maharajah
Organisation rekindled their love for cricket when they came up
with a sizeable package of Rs 6.5 million along with the spills
and thrills that a TV channel could offer to lure back the fans
who had opted to stay away from the venues that came about with
the advent of the lean period of sponsorship.
In all its earnestness the Premier League Tournament
which is the real feeder point to cricket’s national grid
needs the inspiration and the recognition that the SLC and the Maharajah
Organisation are launching towards development of the local second
Then again the bad is, the plight that the national cricketers are
causing the present cricket hierarchy. It is evidently reported
that the team is divided into two camps with the captain, vice-captain
and the coach on one side and the rest of the permanent seniors
on the other. The bickering is so bad the juniors are in a dilemma
from which camp to seek solace. So much so that it is reported that
at one of the local premier league matches a disenchanted regular
national junior had told a prominent umpire “It is better
to go back to the village and play Kaduru-ball cricket rather than
trying to play (for) Sri Lanka Cricket”.
Yet again Sri Lanka is unique in many ways. Reportedly it is the
only country in the world (of cricket) that has a cricket selector
who never attends a single selection committee meeting. Besides
this, there is another committee member who is not very vocal in
his opinion. This leaves only two active members which makes their
lives very easy – one rules the roost and the other jets as
|Is it the end of the road for Marvan’s
Test Cricket career?
Early last week one of the wire services queried
from the Chairman of the Sri Lanka Cricket Selection Committee about
his views on the short-term captaincy of Sri Lanka cricket in the
aftermath of the ICC Championship trophy loss and at the same time
Mahela being elected as the captain of the year by the ICC. Probably
the chief selector came up with the most logical answer when he
said that he sees Mahela leading the country right to the end of
the World Cup in the West Indies and they want to see him feel comfortable
in this position by that time.
This statement let loose a hornets-nest. There
were many protests and by that same evening a very senior member
of the Interim Committee met the Chief Selector, had a discussion
and out came a statement from the Chief Selector that the Wire service
story was only his personal views and it was not to the effect of
an appointment of the national captain.
Meanwhile, clearly understanding that it would
only be a pipe dream to think of regaining back his captaincy which
Marvan Atapattu was compelled to relinquish due to a back injury
the former skipper has thought of giving up the more tedious Test
cricket and opting for the shorter version of the game which has
further exacerbated the problems within. Further, all reconciliation
efforts have been in vain and the selection of the team which was
to be done last week has been pushed back for this week, till the
return of coach Tom Moody who is on leave in Australia at the moment.
However Coach Moody is not an official member
of the Sri Lankan Cricket Selection Committee.
At present the 19 member pool is at practices,
but it is also said the name of medium pacer Akalanka Ganegama who
at present is bowling very well with the Sri Lankan ‘A’
team in India has also provided food for thought among the hierarchy.
The National team will leave for New Zealand on
the 25th of November for a two Test, two twenty-twenty and a five