Lorgat’s tasks and other cricket conundrumsView(s):
Though entangled in the frantic preparations for the upcoming Olympics in the English summer city of London, things back home, especially in the field of cricket, keep coming back to me. I read a news item that the Lankan skipper Mahela was reiterating that his players’ central contracts should be honoured. He was lamenting that if the ruling authorities of the game did not fulfill their obligations to the national cricketers, the main players will be missing from the Sri Lanka Premier League T-20 tournament come next month.
At this end we also understand that that the President of Sri Lanka Cricket Upali Dharmadasa has stated that the issue would be solved by July 25. However what we keep asking the authorities is that from March, or whatever the date that the central contracts expired, what kept them running round the problem rather than solving it? We too understand that the current parlous state of monetary affairs that has engulfed the Maitland Place office keeps Dharmadasa and company from being lavish, but that does not mean that they can shy away from the transparency that they promised just before taking custody of the cricket ball. Whether the authorities like it or not cricketers are the bloodline of the game in the country and they should be maintained in a proper state of mind.
In hindsight cricketers should also remember – especially the senior brood – that they are some of the better-off guys treading Lankan soil and they too should try to understand and consider the situation at hand and look at the game and its development for the future. Yet, that does not mean it should be done at the expense of their central contracts.
Recently one of the cricket veterans pointed out that if Sri Lanka Cricket did not invest as much money in developing the Hambantota Stadium and the Pallekelle Stadium and in renovations of the R. Premadasa International Cricket Stadium, the local authorities would have sufficient funds to run the country’s cricket for the next four years and do it well. They would have had the cash to pay their cricketers annually, with more incentives, while developing the other peripheries that need looking at. Yet the state-owned cricket administration of that time decided to take this path which they still describe as a long term plan for Sri Lanka cricket.
However, the actions of the administration have left their own pockmarks. As for the press, SLC President Upali Dharmadasa remains an elusive character; getting an answer about any kind of issue from him has become an issue to the journos, though the millionaire businessman has taken the tag of being the official spokesman of Sri Lanka Cricket.
Upon this background we understand that the former Chief Executive Officer of the ICC Haroon Lorgat is coming over to Sri Lanka to become its consultant and put the ship back on course. According to an official, who has no status of being the official spokesman of the SLC but is a man who holds a very responsible honorary position at SLC, Lorgat’s mission in Sri Lanka will be to restructure the country’s ailing cricket format, look into affairs of finances and advise Nuski Mohammed –the treasurer of the SLC- on how to be more efficient in management of financial activities and also how to tap any income avenues from the ICC (if there are any remaining) and how to establish good governance.
Nuski Mohammed told the Sunday Times that during the period he has been in charge of the SLC’s finances, he has brought in some measures and paid most of the outstanding payments that occurred during and after the 2011 Cricket World Cup.During his 3-4 month consultancy, Lorgat will not base himself on the island. He will travel to the island if and when necessary and this too will have its own base of expenses as the local till is almost empty and bare. Yet, a good thing that happens to anyone cannot be measured by rupees and cents.
Lorgat’s main task will be to introduce a cricket system that will be efficient and futuristic so that it will produce the talent that is needed to sustain Sri Lanka in the international arena as one of the better cricket-playing nations. Still the backtrackers are a strong lobby. They are keener on protecting their voter base than on doing exactly what is required and good for Sri Lanka cricket.
This is a huge task at hand and if this can be done successfully Sri Lanka cricket as a whole would be the winner.
As for the finances, Lorgat may be able to show them how to regularize the expenses, but, with the debts at hand we wonder how he is going to get the train back on track. Maybe that hidden ICC cash avenue that Sri Lanka has not yet discovered may infuse hope into the Sri Lankan cricket economy, still this is very hypothetical.
Once again we wonder how exactly Lorgat will introduce good governance in this local environment where certain things can happen literally quite magically. Almost everyone in the country knows that a certain percentage of the US$ 70 million spent on the three venues was not exactly spent on the development itself. Missing hard disks and other occurrences were swept under the carpet while the accused roamed free. So let’s wait and see what the ultimate result will be – indeed it will be very interesting.comments powered by Disqus