Sanath & Co, hope your fans will get their money’s worth

My Dear Sanath & Co.,

I thought of writing to you on the eve of your preparation for the World Cup because over the next month or so that is what we Sri Lankans will be worried about, regardless of peace talks, federal systems, the cost of living and even the presidency of the Cricket Board.

As you must be well aware by now, we Sri Lankans were not happy with what happened in the recent tours to England, South Africa and most lately to Australia. Of course in Australia as it always happens, something other than cricket creates a controversy and I suspect that helped to some extent to reduce the degree of embarrassment.

Anyway, Sanath, what alarmed most of us was the fact that even after all this, the team was very keen on dictating terms to the Board about wages and threatening not to take part in the World Cup. As some have already noted if only they put in the effort and energy they devoted to their demands to their performance on the field, we may have won at least a few more matches!

But of course, a settlement has now been reached and we all hope that the pay hikes you won will spur you on to better performances in the field. Perhaps we should adopt a performance related pay structure for you cricketers- a thousand rupee bonus for every boundary and a thousand rupee fine for every dropped catch! But this performance-related pay is a nice idea indeed and that is what I wanted to write to you about.

Of course, you would argue it is not fair to impose such a scheme only for cricketers. Then we would have to do the same for everyone else. Just imagine imposing a fine on politicians who break their election promises, making salary deductions for being late (and you know who that will apply to!) or even penalising other people for example, if the peace talks fail!

Then again, maybe we should fine our ministers when the country experiences power cuts and we should also fine them when the gas and flour prices increase. Maybe we should even link the pay packet of ministers to the price of bread. The higher the latter, the lesser the former should be. Now, that would be a sure way of keeping the cost of living down…

But let us seriously hope that you will forget your performances of the recent past and play better. After all, you have been called 'black something-or-the-other' and now it is upto you to prove them wrong, or else they will have the last laugh. We don't need to tell you that the entire nation is watching, even if their expectations are not that high, this time around. We wish you the best of luck because you certainly need a lot of it, considering the way you people run into each other when batting!

Yours truly,
Punchi Putha
PS- Someone tells me that the Green Man is waiting for you to win the World Cup. He believes that if that happens, the people will be so happy that he can introduce a federal constitution and no one would care and then he can end the war and win the Nobel Prize for peace. How is that for a plan?

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