Through history this has been taught in spite of you belonging to any school of thought. The original scripture may have come from the East, West or the Middle East; but the crux of the mater is, if the core of the thought is conceived with a pre-meditated ill-agenda the chances of them not materializing is very great.
Initially the ECB cancelled Zimbabwe's FTP tour, minutes after Gordon Brown, the prime minister, told the House of Commons that he wanted the tour scrapped. The ban on a team from Zimbabwe entering the country also put in doubt England's hosting of next year's World Twenty20, but the issue was resolved with Zimbabwe pulling out of the event.
That was the agenda in England, the country which was hit the most by President Robert Mugabe’s fervor of taking back the land that was taken away from them many-many moons ago. Many feel that at that juncture the sons of the land felt it at that time, but now in the 21st century when the sons of the land woke up from their slumber it hurt many others.
Here in Sri Lanka the present chairman of the Interim Committee has gone on broadband pronouncing that the most admired personnel in his life are Wasim Akram and Sirimavo Bandaranaike, the former Prime Minister of Sri Lanka. A very stubborn fact about her is that she pioneered the idea of taking back the land taken away from the sons of the soil by the British.
That was a short narration about two Third World individuals fighting against neo-colonialism in their own way in two different countries and in two different eras.
Ironically a few days after the second incident, the Lankan cricket Chief Arjuna Ranatunga -- a pronounced critic of twenty20 cricket jumps the gun while in England and dives into the vacant Zimbabwe slot (which they were squeezed out of through sheer pressure) and agrees to a two Test – three ODI series with poor England who were left without any cricket.
From the very inception Ranatunga did not hide his antipathy towards twenty20 cricket. However it seemed to have gathered momentum when IPL came into being and began to lure all top cricketers in the world with the ‘big bucks’. Ranatunga did not fail to express his feeling about the so called ‘instant noodle’ form of cricket quoting his own words.
Ranatunga may be the chairman of a politically appointed committee. But, it still operates on democratic lines. But, at this instance he never discussed the impending agreement with either the ICC or the SLC Cricket Committee. He first completed the deal and then announced it to the Board. Maybe, his modus-operandi was to dissuade the Lankan cricketers from leaning towards the Indian ‘catch-line’.
Nevertheless the Ranatunga ploy of selling a cricketing dummy to the Lankan cricketers did not work as planned. The intervention of the minister of Sports saw to it that the run-away carriage was put back on track. But the England tour and the $ 2 million that Ranatunga nearly made for Lankan Cricket is now in jeopardy.
In the wake of this development of the Players Association, through its secretary Graeme Labrooy worked out a $ 70 million deal with the BCCI and that is scheduled to be ratified between the two cricketing nations today. However the bottom line of this agreement runs deep, but at the same time it would keep the cash-strapped SLC afloat for the next ten years.
At the same time the (former) ECB Chairman …….oooops, the present ICC president David Morgan has said at the last meeting in Dubai -- "In respect of the FTP tour of Sri Lanka to England in 2009, I believe that the chairman of Sri Lanka Cricket, chairman of the England and Wales Cricket Board and other board chairmen have had meaningful discussions such that an FTP event will take place on the scheduled dates in England next year," he said.
But, we wonder which cap that the ICC president was wearing when he made those utterances. One insider of the Lankan IC quipped “This shows that the ICC president is biased in this instance. In the first instance this is not an FTP tour. The FTP tour was the Zimbabwe tour which the Englishmen cancelled on their own. This is a tour which has been hastily concocted in the aftermath. He has spoken under the hat of the ECB president. The ICC president should have done his homework before he decided to give a newspaper interview on the Lankan issue. First he should have known that when the players signed the IPL agreement the window was available and that is why they went ahead and signed it.
“It is not that Sri Lankan cricketers love Lankan cricket any less. But once you sign an agreement you have to honour it. At the same time if any one was going to sign a Memorandum of Understanding that involves the Lankan players they should be more than clear of what is going to be included in that MOU.”
The insider pointed out “The players concerned have not changed their stance on the issue. Anything is possible after the 24th of May 2009, after the players’ IPL commitments are over”.
They say that not all the England players want the Sri Lanka tour to go ahead. The clash of seasons means that they, alone among cricketers, stand to be out of the IPL action almost every season and surely they don't like it.
Then Paul Sheldon, the Surrey chief executive has revealed that they too are interested in hosting IPL matches at the Oval.
In short the truth is IPL has grown out of proportion in a very short period, but, when someone wants take on a monster of this nature they must have more brain than brawn.
Trading cricket battles at home
Meanwhile at this end the Lankan domestic cricket has crash landed. At the “blue’ corner the Lankan School cricket runs like a ship without a rudder with some schools playing in a forced tournament and some others playing out of it. Thank god… though the impasse prevails, the wagon is moving on.
At the ‘Red’ corner the premier league cricket has been hit by ‘Badugate’ and is about to crash-land. But, in a moment of sanity Badureliya Sports Club is now toying with the idea of pulling out of the tournament in the larger interests of the game. However if they are going ahead, then it should without any pre-conditions. Already their actions have almost derailed the backbone of Lankan cricket by delaying the premier league, with eighteen clubs protesting against their inclusion.
Every person involved with cricket management in the country must remember that this game is one of the redeeming factors of the ‘crisis-laden’ people of this country. When the country is at cricket everything stops besides the TV screens and the ad companies. So if they are to do anything anti-cricket, they must remember that they are bringing it upon themselves.