Cricket’s King Kekilles punish the Fourth Estate

In ancient Sri Lanka, there lived a king named Kekille who thought that he was very wise. He rendered judgments off the cuff, and sometimes they may not have been the most just of them all.
Once in the kingdom, there was a mason building a parapet wall. The wall collapsed and injured a passer-by. The injured man complained to the king, who then formed a court and sat in judgment.

Once hurled upon the king, the mason said, ‘Sire please don’t blame me. A pretty woman came by, and I took my eyes off the wall. That’s why it collapsed.’ So the king professed, ‘Bring the pretty woman.’ And the woman pleaded, ‘Don’t blame me. I had to pass the wall on the way to buy some jewelry.’

“‘Bring the jeweler,’ beamed the king.
‘It’s not my fault,’ the jeweler begged before the court. ‘I have to earn a living.’
The jeweler was very thin, and when the king proposed to kill him by letting an elephant trample him, he said, ‘O. K., I don’t mind. But remember I’m only skin and bones, and the elephant might hurt himself.’
Who shall I punish, then?’ the bewildered king asked. The jeweler said, ‘A fat man may be a chef.’
The justice was done as proposed.

Of late, we in the fourth estate find it very humorous to note that the guys on the other side of the fence are pelting stones at this side accusing us of so many villainies that we are supposed to be committing to derail the smooth flow of Lankan cricket sailing towards its short-term goal of tackling the next World Cup in the Indian sub-continent.

The last time when the cricket World Cup came to this part of the world, the Lankans came out of the blues and snatched the cup off the air before the rest of the cricketing world could realize what really had occurred.

But, especially since then cricket in the world has come a long way, while the local version of it has come a longer way, and may be that even fourteen years hence we are still striving to grasp the reality.
There is no argument, that the talent that this little island possesses is unimaginable. The creators of cricket, England is yet to win the World cup, but the little ‘Kalus’ of Sri Lanka have done it. Rest of Asia is yet to win a ‘Gold, Silver or Bronze’ in short distance women’s running at the Olympics, but, ‘little Sussie’ of this little island Sri Lanka was only a few breaths away from the ultimate women’s 200 metre gold that went to Pauline Davis Thompson in the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

That is the talent that this little island does possess in reality. Maybe in 1996 authoritarian Arjuna Ranatunga may have been correct in handling the bunch of amateurs with an iron fist and held them as a single unit, but, definitely till half way through the tournament he would not have realized the history that was within their grasp. Yet, when they realized the possibilities, they held their heads together and fought on till it became a reality.

Fourteen years hence the Lankan cricket has grown larger. Every cricketer who dons the cap is a professional and no more are they Johnnies next door. But, have they grown up mentally?

Recently a senior cricketer, while trying to reason things out with the musings, welcomed its crusade to rid the Lankan cricket of match fixing and also said certain things that he should not have divulged. But, yet we keep them under a tight cover, because we too think that it is not the time to upset the apple cart, for the plain and simple reason that the Lankans are revving for the World Cup in 2011. Before they cast the stones they must first look into their mirror and ask “Where does the fault lie, and what have we done about it?”

For instance the selectors can forge a policy and take the team along a new pathway but that is mostly with the youngsters, but, IF the seniors are squabbling sometimes they too get into a position of no return.

At present the Lankan cricket is still on a high, even the recent results of five tournament finals with one title does indicate that the machine is still running smoothly. Yet they must remember winning is a habit and you may not know when the fall comes and how it would happen. Just think today’s minnows – the West Indies once ruled the roost.

The case of the Zimbabwe misdemeanor is a classic example. At one juncture the authorities admitted that there had been some fault and they were in the process of looking into it. Then the breach came about the contents of the manager’s report. However, even prior to that, the rumours had hit the streets and were making their rounds. Yet, had the authorities worked on the report and had an inquiry and taken action against the persons involved? They could have just said “Yes, certain complaints reached us on some breach of discipline and we already have taken action against them”. That story would have ended where it was born and would not have been blown to such proportions.

Now not only players, but even their managers are being blown in the wind. Why? Because it is the men who matter who have ruined their case. At the same time the fourth estate has a duty by the people. It is their duty to alert the people when the train derails. But, once the can of worms is opened there is no use of turning the pressure on a third party.

First, those involved must turn the searchlight inwards and ask “Who let the dogs out”.

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