The consideration is drawn to a dialogue legendary Micheal Tissera had with the media, where he had hassled on “Clean up the stables, there is young blood to take over”, which is the prime resolution to our Cricket catastrophe. Obviously, it is a fact that unexceptional folks pursue directions from the unique wisdom of celebrated [...]


Cricket catastrophe diagnosed


The consideration is drawn to a dialogue legendary Micheal Tissera had with the media, where he had hassled on “Clean up the stables, there is young blood to take over”, which is the prime resolution to our Cricket catastrophe. Obviously, it is a fact that unexceptional folks pursue directions from the unique wisdom of celebrated senior peers, as they had experienced the pros and cons of the game. The legends in the game have visibly, have had an extensive spectrum.

Gazing into the contemporary cricket catastrophe, it has been comparable to numerous characteristics. It is virtually 4 decades since we were admitted to the elite congregation, attaining “Test status” in 1981. Thereafter, winning the ‘plum’ of Cricket, the ICC World Cup in 1996. In the subsequent World Cups too, we had performed admirably. However, our Cricket in Sri Lanka has been wobbling and disgustingly losing direction. In parallel to this, deterioration in standards are appalling.

Our doyen of Cricket, Micheal Tissera, with his insight into this celebrated game, which is now alarmingly debasing fast, has given substantial justification, particularly, as we need to submit our squad of 14 players to the, ICC before the ICC deadline on February 9, 2019, prior to the next World Cup in England and Wales. What he was concerned about is, from where we are, to go next?

The former illustrious National Captain, who was furious about the present voting system, said it is imperative we change the Constitution of Sri Lanka Cricket, which is what the Minister of Sports too, is contemplating on.

His suggestion was to prune the number of voters at the AGM, from 140 to around 20 to 30, in relation to the BCCI, where the number of voters is restricted to only 40, in a country which is relatively huge. He was furious about the reports of allegations of corruptions and suggested that inquiries be held, and culprits be brought to book by scrutinising financial transactions in the past years, as he had heard of certain horrendous dealings.

In this regard, he had recommended that some illustrious cricketers with young blood, possessing abundant familiarity with the work ethics of the ICC, be posted to key positions of the SLC, provided the authorities give them a clear stable. He had said that our Test Cricket is on track, beating Australia and South Africa recently at home, but the crisis lies with the shorter versions of the game. However, he suggested that faster wickets should be made familiar, in order to perform admirably overseas, emulating the Indian side. He wanted to take a leaf out of the Indian fast bowlers who have learned strategies on how to tame batsmen abroad.

He had pointed out around that, 20 years ago, Sri Lanka had a solid Club cricket base, where each Club had its own Cricket structure. Then, a schoolboy could have easily joined at Division III level, then move to Division II level, before graduating to Division I level. It was a transitional phase in a system that worked well for Sri Lanka, and it sustained our Cricket for a greater length of time. Unfortunately, the system had gone by the wayside, because SLC brought in so many other Clubs. Club Cricket then, was at its peak, when there were only 8 Clubs, which was a natural system. Anybody who was not performing at the top level could go down to the 2nd tier, to perform and make a comeback.

Then the attention was drawn to Provincial Cricket. He had been an admirer of Provincial Cricket started in 2001, under an Interim Committee administration. However, right now, we do not have a proper Provincial tournament. This needs remedial measures, as our Club tournament, which is not properly administered, is riddled with mediocre supervision. It was the fervent aspiration of legendary Micheal Tissera that, we should get back to our old system of 3-tier Club Cricket, with only about 10 teams, to see where we could make ends meet. He emphasised the need for a system to find replacements, instead of retiring top players.

In the foregoing context, remedial resolutions are totally desired. As the next ICC World Cup is nearing, SLC should be equipped to meet the obvious challenges. The selectors, coaches and related authorities of SLC need to take a prominent part in these preparations. As all passionate Cricket fans are optimistic about our performance in the forthcoming ICC World Cup 2019 in England and Wales, despite our low standing in the ICC rankings.

Sunil Thenabadu via e mail in Brisbane 12th Sept. 2018.

Senaka Decision Review System (SDRS)- Why Not?  

The Sunday Times has decided to dedicate this column to its readers so that they can comment about contents in our sports columns and features and also write their own thoughts on various sports with letters to the editor.Their views however are not necessarily those of the newspaper.

An Appeal to All Cricket Lovers in Sri Lanka

It is high time that Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) made representations to the ICC to rename the Decision Review System (DRS) as the Senaka Decision Review System (SDRS), in due recognition of Sri Lankan Lawyer Senaka Weeraratne who first initiated this system, by writing to the Australian Papers in 1997.

There is not a single published article suggesting a Player Referral in Cricket or, in any other sport, before his letter to the Editor of “The Australian”.

All available evidence is that Senaka’s letter was the first to suggest a Referral System for Cricket. It appears there was no such system or mechanism even in other Sports, prior to March 25, 1997.

The mechanism is similar to the review of a lower court decision by an Appeal court judge and, being a Lawyer himself, Cricket enthusiast Senaka Weeraratne suggested this idea to overcome criticisms against Umpiring decisions floating around the cricketing world for a long time. In fact, in the good old days, when there was a questionable decision by an umpire, unhappy spectators used to shout “Umpire Hora”, which literally means te umpire is a rogue. Now, such allegations against field umpires are not heard, at least at international matches.

I request all Sri Lankan Cricket lovers to read an article published in The on the subject, which explain Senaka’s rightful claim to authorship of the ‘Player Referral’ mechanism which is the lynchpin of the DRS. I quote:

“Generally, all inventions carry the name of the founder. In the case of rain-affected One-Day International Cricket, the nomenclature ‘Duckworth & Lewis’ method is used because it is a system worked out by 2 Englishmen (Frank Duckworth and Tony Lewis). Why is it not the same with the DRS? Is it because the man who conceived and, for the first time in the world, wrote and published the essential ingredients of the ‘ Player Referral’ mechanism, which became the foundation of the DRS, in leading international cricket Journals and newspapers, as far back as March 1997, is non-white? Senaka Weeraratne from Sri Lanka has been fighting for justice since his brainchild came to be used in Cricket. His request for an impartial investigation and proper hearing by an independent 3rd party arbitrator, has not even been considered.”

As Cricket lovers of Sri Lanka, we appeal to Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) officials and the Ministry of Sports to step in and make representation to the ICC, to recognise Senaka Weeraratna’s brainchild and rename the term as Senaka Decision Review System (SDRS). It would be a great honour not only to the initiator Senaka, but also to Sri Lanka.

Rohan Abeygunawardena 



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