not disciplined enough, says Jayasuriya
CENTURION, South Africa, Nov 29 - Beaten 0-2 in the first two one
day internationls against South Africa, the third one day game to
be played in Benoni today does not favour Sri Lanka to win at all.
The chances are that they will lose this one and the series as well.
here has cast doubts about their performance in the World Cup next
year to be held on these very same pitches. Sri Lanka captain Sanath
Jayasuriya said his side had failed to perform. Speaking to reporters
soon after the defeat in the second one day game Jayasuriya said:
"It was a very disappointing performance. Everything was poor,
the bowling, the batting and the fielding," and added, "We
simply were not disciplined enough. We have to lift ourselves and
do the basics well like South Africa.
have minded so much if we had been bowled out for 250 or 275 but
to get bowled out for 140 on that wicket was unacceptable. That
was a good batting pitch. "After the South African innings
we didn't panic because we knew that score could be chased on this
had to go on and get a hundred. I was batting well but got out in
the 40s and that is inexcusable. You cannot afford to get out once
you're well set." South Africa captain Shaun Pollock speaking
to the press after the win said that pressure was the key to his
side's sweeping victory.
won by 177 runs after dismissing Sri Lanka for 140 in reply to their
317 for six in their allotted 50 overs. "It's always difficult
when you are chasing a big target like that," Pollock said
after the match obviously trying to put the Sri Lankans at ease.
what happens is that you either get really close or you lose a lot
of wickets up front and the game sort of peters out into an easy
victory for one team." Pollock said his side's batting, especially
that of Graeme Smith and Boeta Dippenaar who put on 134 for the
third wicket, was important to the victory.
99 and Dippenaar 89, their highest scores in one day international
cricket, before Jacques Kallis cracked 53 off 26 balls. "Batting
was an area we identified as a problem and it was great to see the
guys rectify it," Pollock said.
were vital and Graeme and Boeta dug in and got us a good platform
to work with. It allowed Jacques to come in and play with the freedom
and to get 300 you really have to have batted well."
like a cork
can learn a thing or two from SA sports management
Bernie Wijesekera reporting from Johannesburg, South Africa
The Sri Lanka Cricket Board and the Sports Minister should take
serious note of the way sports are conducted in South Africa. Perhaps
we can learn a thing or two in proper management and sports development
the chairman of the S. African selection panel is on contract with
the United Cricket Board South Africa. He was a member of the S.A.
World Cup team in 1992 (after apartheid). I was lucky to interview
him. I am on contract with the UCBSA for one year, and work within
its parameter, but no one else.
Q. What about
your Minister of Sports.
A. No. He is paid by the UCBSA and does a full time job. Part
time has no place. The other members of the panel are: Pat Symcox,
Hugh Page, Haroon Loggart and Douglas Maku.
Q. Are they
A. Not a monthly salary, but afforded with out-of-pocket expenses.
They are all committed and serve for the right reasons and not for
their personal benefits. Promoting and developing the game to reach
greater heights and to unearth talent among the under-priviledged
not confining to one race, but for all races. S. Africa is a dominant
force in rugby, football and cricket it's brought about due to professional
management. The panel is picked once a year through nomination and
answerable only to the UCBSA, not to any outsiders. If they are
removed it's only by the controlling body.
Q. Are they
changed at random. Then how could they work to a plan.
A. Today so many players are emerging from the under-priviledged.
Mr Nelson Mandela is giving all encouragement for the UCBSA vision
- not only for cricket but for all sports.
If the game
has faced setbacks in recent times in Sri Lanka, it's due to petty
politics, and the management being constantly changed - apparently
the administration is in tatters. The Interim Committee at present
runs its affairs, by men of integrity. But they themselves are not
sure how long they will serve to map out a proper programme. They
drift like a cork in the mid-ocean. How many times have the selectors
been changed during this calendar year?.
If that is happening
its bad to the game said Omar. Sri Lanka is rich in talent and it
has to be harnessed properly. They should be given opportunities
of playing (regularly) in S. Africa and in Australia on bouncy pitches,
that too against good opposition. Not just one game, at least 3
to 4 times to gauge his performance - in fairness to the player
concerned. There is no difference between the S.A. national team
and the 'A' teams. Here again the selectors play a vital role. They
have to map out and watch the games. How many of our local selectors
adhere to this principle. One can't blame them. The Chairman of
the panel is not a pro. like Omar.
have other commitments in their personal life, to attend to, and
haven't the time to spot talent. Be it in the totems or in the paddy
fields. Henry was watching the one day between Sri Lanka and Africa
'A' at the New Park Stadium on Nov. 23, in uninviting weather. Two
coloured players impressed. Fast bowler Zondeki and wicket-keeper
Chemi Tsolekile, the young stumper has the makings of Mark Boucher,
the arcobatic world class gloveman. Zondeki was included for the
first two one-day games against Sri Lanka.
of selectors Guy de Alwis was here, for the Tests. He would have
seen how cricket selectors pick teams and how the game is managed
by professionals. After seeing young Mubarak displaying his batting
skills in the second Test, it really impressed them. Why was he
not given an opportunity asked Omar and other knowledgeable circles
here. Sanath Jayasuriya's injury was a blessing in disguise for
the lad. Otherwise he would have been carrying the towel, like some
of teammates, who had to return home without a bowl or bat.
Here again bizarre
selection policy prevails. Imagine 17 players which included 7 fast
bowlers. Some of them have not done their homework properly. How
could they adjust themselves whilst on tour - Dilhara Fernando,
plagued with no balls and wides, while Ruchira Perera overstepping
the danger area, barred from bowling in the first Test. It was pointed
to the tour manager by this scribe at the Wanderers nets of Ruchira,
going over the danger zone. Aren't some of our seniors getting burnt
out with so much of cricket to play. They need a lay off and a rest
to get back their vim and vigour.
after this tour with a two day lay off, they take wings to Australia
for a gruelling tri-nation series after this SBA. tour. This will
be followed by the all important World Cup - here again the selectors
are answerable. It could have been better to have given playing
opportunities to the likes of Michael Van Dort, Kaushal Weeraratne,
Dilshan than exposing our seniors, who are the main cog-in-the-wheel
for the coming W.C. in South Africa. According to Omar, they are
trying to get the correct formula for the W.C. by giving playing
opportunities to young talent - Allan Donald and Jonty Rhodes are
two good examples. Not they are over the hill to be in the Test
arena, but they are concentrating on the World Cup.
But for the
Lankan selectors believe in just putting old wine into a new bottle.
Former Chairman selection committee Sidat Wettimuny, created cricket
history at Lord's. He mapped out strategy to infuse young talent
for the future. He had the play of getting a mixture of youth and
and worked in the 1999-2000 tour of Pakistan. Sri Lanka thrashed
Pakistan to a three-nil one day whitewash and a 2-1 Test series
in Pakistan. This scribe covered the tour. Wettimuny was there with
Asantha de Mel to watch this great happening. Asantha was one of
the members in the panel. All his plans fell on the wayside, when
Sidat and resigned for reasons best known to him apparently due
to petty power hungry politics in sport.
What has happened
to the game since then, barring winning an odd one day series here
and there. Let's bind together forget about the past issues and
work for a common objective to revive the game for Sri Lanka to
be among the best cricketing nations in the world. Today Sidat is
concentrating in golf and making a name in another ball game at
the RCGC greens. There are plenty here one behind the Wanderers
Stadium, too. Pat Symcox, who is also a national S.A. cricket selector,
says he's prepared to help Sri Lanka cricket in whatever way, because
Sri Lanka is his favourite country - like going from one home to
By Ramil Abeynayake
There are four grounds in the world where cricketers relish
to step out and entertain. Lord's in London is the ultimate experience.
The MCG in Melbourne couples history and the modern game, in addition
to providing accommodation to 110,000 spectators. The former Olympic
Stadium is an awesome place. Eden Gardens, Calcutta has a similar
capacity for the cricket crazy Indians, as the MCG. Since their
re-admittance to international cricket ten years ago, the Wonderers
in Johannesburg has moved in to complete the foursome.
flows at these venues. The whole atmosphere is electric and it lifts
a player's performance by a few notches. Merely stepping onto the
grounds gives the feeling that it is something special. The outfield
is perfectly flat and the grass is a combination of Rye and Hybrid
Couch. Grasses that survive a mild winter and the summer (provided
plenty of watering is done). Obviously fertilizing and weed spraying
is done regularly and systematically to ensure such a perfect playing
For the Sri
Lankans the going was tough. They get a thrashing in the Test match
and too much did not go their way in the opening one day game. This
is the quickest and bounciest track in the Republic and skills of
batsmanship have to be of the highest quality.
Jayawardene negotiated the South African bowlers without too much
hassle. Of those who walked to the crease from both teams, Jayawardene
easily looked the most competent. He fell to a blinder of a catch
taken by Herchelle Gibbs just when a big innings seemed forthcoming.
Its once in a hundred innings the batter falls to such a brilliant
reflex action catch.
pitch on the day before the game, it was evident that the requirement
would be pacemen and batsmen, and so seven batsmen were selected
for duty. The toss was going to be very vital and so it did prove
when Pollock won the toss and put Sri Lanka in. Jayasuriya would
have done the same.
The sun is out
by half-past-five in the morning in this part of the world at this
time of year - just coming into summer. It provides reasonable time
to have a perfectly dry surface for a ten o' clock start, but then,
the groundsman had watered the pitch morning before and the deck
was more like the first day of a test match.
It was OK in
the air but once the ball hit the surface then the trouble. The
ball seamed, bounced and often skidded at pace. After the opening
spells the combined twenty nine runs, five wickets! They are 2 bowlers
in form and they bowled superbly.figures of Pollock and Ntini read:
was the bright spark for Sri Lanka. Back after a break of over a
year due to injury, Nissanka bowled very briskly. Even Jacques Kallis
was beaten for pace. He needs to brush-up his rhythm and that should
come with more practice and match play.
will have to re-think his preparation plan for one day internationals,
particularly with many world cup games, including the final schedule
for this venue. Overall, the day at the Wanderers was wonderful.