15 October, 2019

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Our Cricket Board Simply Cannot Deliver – Why Not All Quit Honourably? 

By Shyamon Jayasinghe

Shyamon Jayasinghe

“It is necessary, therefore, for the government to pay serious attention to the doings of Sri Lanka Cricket [board] and take immediate action to lift their game for the progress of our glorious game.”

Question for Sri Lanka Cricket [board]

Sri Lanka is an amazing country. Cricket is the national sport and the whole country stands united only on the occasion of its cricketers on the field. The game is, therefore, crucial to our national psyche. The talent is there and so is the experience and built-up cricketer confidence. Yet, over the last decade we get extremely frustrated to see our players going down so miserably.-match after match. We expatriates living in Australia ask just one  question from Sri Lankan Cricket:

Why don’t you gentlemen quit honourably and hand the management of cricket to young sports persons?

‘Return of the Perahera Effect’

Last night (15/6/19), we had Sri Lanka playing Australia in the World Cup. How heartwarmingly we saw young players in the top order – Karunaratne and Mendis – play their shots against the spirited and professional pace attack of the Aussies? Karunaratne just missed a glorious century. Wasn’t it 150 for one at one point? Then, we had a middle order total collapse and no tail to give a last ditched fight. Lankan schoolboys refer to this as the ‘perahera effect.’ Sri Lanka did have the perahera effect many years ago. However, we soon cured the spectacle and we did not take time to storm to victory snatching the World Cup. Now, The perehera effect has returned  and the whole game of cricket is down to the ground. 

Talent Training and Selection Methods

Whom do we blame? Not players, as we have adequate reserves of talent in our country lined up to play. We need to have a system in force to spot talent and train potentially good players. Australia has a Cricket Academy, which does that. Since cricket brings good income to players and the latter can devote full time for training even in Sri Lanka  why not we do that? The whole effort is self-sustaining. What has our board done here?

We have grave doubts about selection methods and procedures when teams are selected. Perhaps right players are left out and wrong fellows are put in place. What can the board say about its picking procedures? Why don’t they come to the media and tells us? If politicians intervene, that again, is the responsibility of the board to bring under control. The Cricket Board cannot shake away from taking charge of an obstruction like that. If it cannot check that factor, then they must quit; not sulk and dig in. Stories are a galore that some board members have been cooperating with politicians  in order to please the latter. 

I believe even the minister in charge of sport is incompetent-despite all the hope he had generated when he was appointed. Has the Minister acquiesced in the current poor show of the board? Harin Fernando must be scared of the board. Or is he liking to share some of the perks that the administrators of cricket can afford to share with him? Honestly, I do not know the answer. The fact is Harin’s silence is strange.

Facebook Posting

I posted the following in my Facebook, meant to be universally applicable to all organizations:

BE IT A POLITICAL PARTY, A RELIGIOUS ORGANIZATION, AN ALUMNI CLUB, OR A SIMPLE CRICKET BOARD; A CONTROLLING FEW OR AN ‘ELITE’ TENDS TO FORM OVER TIME. IF THE MONEY IS THERE, SUCH ELITES WILL DEVELOP INTO A CLOSE CORRUPT GROUP BLOCKING NEWCOMERS WHO ALONE CAN REFRESHEN THE ORGANISATION. 

-sj-

 I had an immediate response from a very high up in Sri Lanka Cricket (Board), whose name I shall not mention  as I have known him for many years and do not want him to face serious embarrassment.. This is his response:

“Don’t talk bullshit, without knowing facts about the Cricket Board Shyamon I have told you many times. Come for a debate when I am next in Melbourne I will take you on.”

My posting was about a universal principle of organisational behaviour. I reminded the official that this principle is valid for his Board,too. As a responsible official of the board He should have made serious note of what I said, accepted my posting as feedback, and thought it time to address media in order to try and construct a better image before the public. The public perception of the board is very poor. Opposition Member of Parliament Sumathipala had been chairman for long ensuring his re-election every time. Being a MP that was conflict of interest. Todate we don’t have a clue of what he did to improve Cricket.

Mahela Jayawardena

Sri Lanka’s star world-class player Mahela Jayawrdene who was invited to an advisory position in the Board flatly repudiated the offer saying he was sure they would not listen to his advice. 

In this way, the board seems to be struggling at odds against those who matter for cricket and determined to be bureaucratically ensconced in an isolated tower.

Income

We know that Sri Lankan cricket brought in heaps of money into the board and that that money had been squandered over one thing or another. Actually sport is a significant GDP booster in countries like Australia. Sportsmen are paid well, administrators get enough money and the economy derives large benefits. This happened in our country when our cricket did well. However, it is a different story now. At this rate, I wouldn’t be surprised if competing cricketing countries place tournaments with our cricket team for ‘low seasons.’

It is necessary, therefore, for the government to pay serious attention to the doings of Sri Lanka Cricket (board) and take immediate action to lift their game for the progress of our game

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Latest comments

  • 9
    0

    Corruption, corruption, corruption. What else !!. Cricket is no more a game we enjoyed playing and watching decades ago. Money and politics have taken over the game.

    • 6
      0

      Shyamon Jayasinghe.

      RE: Our Cricket Board Simply Cannot Deliver – Why Not All Quit Honourably?

      Why Not All Quit Honourably?

      Because they al; have learned from the “Honorable ” President, the Traitor, Sevalaya (sleaze) , Pachaya (liar) and Mala-Perethaya (living off the dead) about self-interest.

      • 10
        1

        Sri Lanka Cricket Board must appoint Skandakumar as the President to sort matters out and deliver, bringing back the lost standards. He is completing his term as High Commissioner in Australia and will be returning soon to Sri Lanka. He is a person of integrity with managerial skill, past experience in the board as a secretary and has played the game at a high level in Sri Lanka. It is high time Sri Lanka resorts to meritocracy and appoint a Tamil to be the head of cricket board which position has eluded to Tamils until now due to racism prevailing in the country. If a Sinhalese can be elected as President of MCC transcending racism, why it cannot happen in Sri Lanka, unless they want to continue the policy of racism. In fact Kumar Sangakkara who is a beneficiary of white man’s gesture must spearhead this move to impress upon Sinhalese to rise up to the occasion.

      • 6
        0

        “Our Cricket Board Simply Cannot Deliver” – Another instance, fake nationalism putting us down. We said, we are better than foreigners and pull out our Airline from Emirates managements, and you know the mess we are in . We said Whatmore the World cup winning coach wasn’t the reason we won the World Cup, and even a local coach would have done better and tried with many local coaches, where are we now? FYI – Once boring Bangladesh team has become a powerful one after they contracted Whatmore.

        “Australiyavata gawanang hari anithung nikam baya wenawa” (If we beat Australia is enough to frighten others), I heard this talk between 2 guys while the match was being played. We can’t become a strength unless we know our weaknesses. What funny is even when we know we are weak, we don’t accept it. Ape Olu Hidhimila wedi

      • 1
        0

        Amarasiri!
        Why is our cricket board ‘Playing Panthu’ with our Cricketers.

    • 0
      1

      I think that the corruption is only one factor of the failure. Corruption of many sort can affect morale of the players particularly when they are at sub par with the level of superstars who can carry the weight of the team. However, I think that the biggest factor affecting SL cricket is natural ups & downs any sport team faces over the time. Look at West Indies, for example. It was the team to beat during their apex but now it is only just above SL team. On the other hand, teams like Bangladesh have reached the middle of the pack.
      I think that a small country like SL producing world class players each year is somewhat an unrealistic expectation. But, at the same time, I must also point out that the school level sports where talented players has to be produced is also not up to par. Tuition pressure may be a factor. If that is the reason, the current poor status may be a result of a trend that developed over long period of time. Another factor may be the lack of higher level competition among local teams particularly at the regional level. Also, the system of school players joining professional level clubs needs to be changed as well. May be the Minister should think of introducing a lottery based draft system so that week teams can have a chance to improve.
      Yes, corruption may be playing a big part at all levels of SL life and it is extremely difficult to weed out corruption if it is deeply intertwined with national & local politics. How else, persons like Thilanga Sumathipala can have big say in SL cricket which is the national sport of the country? What else can SL expect under a president who can’t even tolerate parliamentary committee that looks into a national disaster?

  • 3
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    Shyamon Jayasinghe’s tantrum of frustration {“Our Cricket Board Simply Cannot Deliver….”}
    .
    The Lankan cricket players can and will deliver if left to play without political influence/interference.
    Few examples: Remember SB Dissanayake during his tenure as Sports Minister opined that our cricketers were too fat.
    Former Captain Arjuna Ranatunge when he held the SLC Chair expressed his view that our cricketers were ‘paid too much’.
    Keheliya Rumbukwella during his tenure as a Minister used his clout to include his son Ramith in international cricket, the Ramith sleepwalking saga and Keheliya’s fall off an Australian hotel balcony.
    .
    SLC Board is the battle ground of some despicable unscrupulous Lankan politicians.
    .
    Shyamon’s remedy {“…..– Why Not All Quit Honourably?”}
    Worldwide ‘Honour’ is not part of the gentleman’s game

  • 4
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    Mr Punchihewa laid the foundations that brought us success, and the success brought our Board riches. Then the suckers came on board to enjoy the honey. Now we are rock-bottom, and as predicted, we will drop down the list of preferred tours. We could be the next Pakistan – only playing away. Or, playing in a stadium ringed by our ranaviru commando’s.

    • 1
      0

      Ah, our glorious ranaviru! Stand around and watch the cricket – That will be a job they can easily do without the help of China, India or Israel.

    • 1
      0

      Spring Koha

      If nothing is fit for purpose, why keep them?
      I suggest let us get rid of all such institutions, abolish them, put an end to, do away with, get rid of, scrap, end, stop, terminate, eradicate, eliminate, exterminate, destroy, annihilate, stamp out, obliterate, wipe out, extinguish, quash, expunge, extirpate; annul, cancel, invalidate, nullify, void, dissolve, erase, delete; rescind, repeal, revoke, overturn; discontinue, remove, withdraw, retract, countermand, excise, drop, jettison, vitiate, abrogate; informalaxe, ditch, junk, scrub, dump, chop, give something the chop, knock something on the head,

      including
      Parliament
      Police,
      Armed forces
      State intelligence
      Political parties,
      All state institutions
      Courts
      Ministries,
      Vihares
      Temples
      Mosques
      Churches,
      ….

      ….
      Wouldn’t you agree that it is a huge mistake believing in rational expectations, …

  • 2
    0

    Mr. Shyamon,
    .
    “Why don’t you gentlemen quit honourably and hand the management of cricket to young sports persons?” – 250 innocent lives lost, over 500 injured because of negligence on duty from top to bottom concerned. Have you seen anyone trying to be gentlemen? After all, this is just a sport..

  • 3
    0

    Shyamon ,
    You are right.We don’t see or hear the Sports Minister.The first thing he should do is to sack the selectors .Then change the constitution of the SLC.Allow past Cricketers like Mahela,Sanga and others to take active participation in the affairs of the board for at least 3 years.I remember the Minister promising to change the constitution in April,2019.What happened Mr Minister?

  • 0
    2

    I think ICC is corrupt and gave priority to England to earn some money by hosting the tournament and did not do anything to promote a Grand tournament. See ICC
    did not know that the Rain would ruin many games. Most games were cancelled or given scores without playing. That looks disgusting for those who watch it or paid money to watch in the TV.
    In sri lanka, it is the politicians on the top. I am pretty sure, they use it to make money and leave it to the next one. Some times, they lose games as part of the tournament strategy. In the British tournament it was supporting the British people to earn much wanted Cash and just presenting a lousy tournament.

    • 1
      0

      JD is right. Sri Lanka should have been given the WC tournament. All our problems would have been solved. We would have had thousands of fans come (solves our hotel problem!), guaranteed sunshine (well a little rain, to keep everything fresh), and the transport people will be busy busy busy. Most of all, our Negombo pigs will fly higher than ever!

  • 5
    0

    Dear Shyamon,

    In 1996 we won the World Cup because SLC did not have an income of millions of Pounds.
    After winning the World Cup money was pouring in to the SLC and most of the corrupt Politicians and others who governed the Cricket Board used the SLC as a “Gravy Train” to fulfil their personal gains.

    Most of these guys (Politicians and the Administrators) have full of Ego and they think that they are the Best in the World. They do not listen to anyone other than their “god fathers” and cronies.
    Most of our guys in the SLC do not know how to interact with others and learn from each other to correct their short comings.

    Most of the Past Ministers of Sports did not have a clue about how to develop sports in our country.
    They played for the audience for cheap popularity without putting in place the necessary processes, procedures, and regulations which were necessary to curtail the corruption and abuse of power by the officials in our Sports Institutions because they were their “buddies”.

    With all due respect I have to say that the new Minister of Sports has not got the experience or the ability to understand the problems and take necessary actions to remedy the situation.

    If I were you I would have rephrased the title of your article as follows:

    “Why Not All Politicians (225) and the SLC Administrators Quit Honourably? “

  • 3
    0

    Shyamon – the Sri Lankan politicians are in to blood sports ………Sri Lankan cricket is one of the means …for their blood sports

  • 1
    0

    Cricket is not the national sport. Its Volleyball. Furthermore Rugby is the main sport in Colombo and Kandy.

  • 0
    0

    What happened is All are CAPABLE, BECAUSE THEY did NOT CHALLENGE THEMSELVES ENOUGH Maturity is the ability to reap not complain when things don’t go well.

  • 1
    0

    a leading cricketer in present squad got drunk at a party in sl He started rambling in his drunken state and claimed seventy percent of his match fees had to be given to the selectors .If this is happening with our team moral justice would prevent us from winning .Of all the sports cricket is one game where moral justice is built in .cricket has a deeply religious tradition

  • 3
    0

    Dear Mr. Jayasinghe
    You are very correct in most things wrong with our cricket administration and our lack of performance. Let me add a few more factors that I feel are contributing as well.
    .
    The first and foremost reason I see is that we have no outstanding captain in our team. A person like Arjuna, Imran Khan, Ponting, Dhoni, etc. As we all know, after the departure of Mahela and Sanga the next person groomed was Mathews, but Mathews failed woefully. In spite of his build and command of language, he has a major problem that makes him unsuitable as a commander. He doesn’t have the fearless courage and natural leadership potential as Arjuna or any of the other greats. Often Mathews is too defensive on the pitch and overly cautious. As a captain that can be a serious problem when you want to lead by example. Hence the cricket board has tried 7 or 8 others and none of them can play the part. So we need to go outside our player pool to lool for this perfect captain.
    The second reason why we are doing badly is that we assume that we have players and that they have the skills etc, but let me bust your bubble: though we have players they don’t have the exposure that their colleagues in other countries have, thanks to the lack of an international league. If you notice countries like India started dominating after the advent of IPL. We happen to be about the only country where our boys in the grassroots don’t get exposed to immense talent available in the outside world. We have not changed our mentality and are still very traditional in our approach to cricket in a fast paced changing world.
    The reason why we don’t have a league is another matter. We don’t have enough local sponsors I believe.

  • 1
    1

    Now you’ve done it!
    /
    You have proven your ‘Bahustrutha’ credentials by moving from politics, religion, the arts to sport now.
    /
    What are we to do when you are gone Shimon?

  • 2
    0

    Everything in Sri Lanka is at its worst. Sri Lankan cricket is just following that trend. They are of the same mold and model as the others. I agree with the writer: after this world cup debacle the minister and the selection committee must resign. This is the honourable thing to do. But honour is no where in the country’s vocabulary. The country is bathed in dishonour. what honour in a shit hole?
    As far as Srilankan cricket is concerned, many in this team should never have made the trip. The old cronies should have firmly been told to retire. Who are they? Mathews (body all aching all the time), Malinga (the highest run yielder in every recent format of the game), Thirimanne (block, block, block, no score), Siriwardene (good for nothing). Lakmal (gone are the days), Jeevan Mendis (just stand and wait), Thisara Perera (a total flop, only bulk), Jeffrey Vandersay ( a mere nothing), Pradeep (cannot hold a bat to save his soul).
    These can no more resuscitate the hope placed in them. They were going, going going…now they must be told ‘BE-GONE’. Beaten to a pulp and dead and gone, this team will not rise on the third day.
    Considering the sterile presence of these TEN on the field, any younger prospect in their place would not have done worse. They would at least have given hope for the future. The Chairman of the selection committee wrote a scathing letter to the WC Organizers about the poor treatment meted to the SL cricket team. Let him be reminded that ‘UNU BATH’ is not for beggars.
    Mario Perera
    Kadawata

  • 0
    0

    Get real, SJ. When was the last time any highly placed person in Sri Lanka ‘quit honourably? As the late Dr Colvin R de Silva once observed, in SL they don’t resign their positions, they simply resign themselves to the situation. And, how realistic are you to say ‘If politicians intervene, that again, is the responsibility of the board to bring under control’ when that same board is beholden to the politicians in the first place? You have asked if the right players were selected. Well may we also ask how the chief selector was selected. It is instructive to note that the present incumbent, reportedly a kinsman of MR, got in when the President ‘appointed’ MR as PM last October. You have said ‘Whom do we blame? Not players’. What, not even players who fail consistently? They cannot get away scot free. They also have to take some responsibility. On the other hand, aren’t you being a little harsh on the minister, saying, ‘The fact is Harin’s silence is strange’. Frankly, his silence is preferable to the way that previous ministers carried on.

    To say that SL cricket is in a mess, is to state the bleeding obvious. And if we are to ask, ‘What ails SL cricket’, the answer could well be another question – ‘What ails SL?’ for the ills afflicting SL cricket are symptomatic of the prevailing dysfunction, corruption, political interference, nepotism and a lack of ethical or honest conduct that seem to pervade all sections of government and other public institutions. We need a national moral cleansing.

  • 1
    0

    Sumathipala is a bookie. Shasi is his buddy. All are vultures waiting for the money. They are all sucking the blood of our cricket. AUditor General should check the accounts to see how each has robbed

  • 1
    0

    Being a politician and Minister under Rajapakse, Sumathipala has compromised his position by creeping into the cricket board. By that act he opened the door to wide political influence on selections and the downfall started. Sumathipala is no more there but he left leaving all his catchers to man the Board. One fellow used to write chits for his race booking. This is the shame brought upn our cricket. Cannot believe why Ranil kept this character Sumathipala until the courts flung him out

  • 0
    0

    This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.For more detail see our Comment policy https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2

  • 1
    0

    Punchi Point

    Thanks for your unusually punchi typing.

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