19 November, 2018

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The Mathews In Ranil & The Ranil In Mathews

By Rasika Jayakody

Rasika Jayakody

It must be torturous to be Angelo Mathews right now, amid humiliating defeats to nascent Test-playing nations, facing vitriolic criticism on skill levels and performance, and dealing with growing pressure to step down from captaincy.

But if there’s one man who could empathize with Mathews, it would be Ranil Wickremesinghe, who currently holds the office of Prime Minister for the fourth time in a four-decade-long, tumultuous political career.

Many parallels can be drawn between Mathews and Wickremesinghe, who have both been entrusted with of leading the nation in two completely different areas.

Mathews cricketing career started with great promise. Soon after he was selected for the national team, pundits predicted that the all-rounder, who played with flair and panache, was destined for greatness. He was fast-tracked into captaincy and became one of the youngest captains to lead Sri Lanka in the international arena.

One thing Mathews, as captain, had in abundance, were challenges. For most of his captaincy, the Sri Lankan team was in transition after the retirement of several senior, high-profile players. There was a grave human capital crisis within the team making a debilitating impact on their performance. Was Mathews responsible for this human capital crisis? Yes and No. While there is a panel of selectors to name the final squad for every tournament, the final responsibility of managing his talent and squeeze out the best performance of every player lies with the captain.

The larger issue Mathews grappled with was on how to manage himself. The way he bats, at the moment, betrays his lack of self-confidence and zero clarity of mind. On many an occasion Mathews, with his slow strike rate at early stages of the innings, would let the entire team down and exert more pressure on the rest of the batting line-up. This, unsurprisingly, leads to the downfall of other, less-experienced batsmen who do not have the wherewithal to rise up to crunch moments. The team, as a result, crumbles in every high-pressure match and suffers humiliating defeats.

Mathews also has this notorious habit of making clumsy calls while running between wickets. This has caused the team costly run-outs, much to the consternation of Lankan cricket fans. According to cricket fans, those who have suffered the most due to Mathews’ clumsy calls are promising young all-rounders who even have the potential of outperforming the captain. To be fair by Mathews, these allegations are often hurled by those cheering from outside the boundary lines, without very little knowledge of the inner dynamics of a game

All in all, this explains how Mathews, once a man destined for greatness, has ended up in the current mire. It is beyond this writer to know if Mathews can ever lead himself and his team out of it. But, there is hope – at least in some quarters.

Ranil Wickremesinghe too was a man of great promise when he started off as a young Minister and a political leader. A dashing young lawyer, he was the youngest Cabinet member of the J.R. Jayewardene Cabinet, which boasted of several outstanding leaders in the calibre of Lalith Athulathmudali, Gamini Dissanayake and Ranasinghe Premadasa. Ranil, from the outset, was destined for greatness.

At the initial stages of his leadership, Ranil too presided over a party that struggled with a debilitating human capital crisis. There was no Gamini Dissanayake nor was there Lalith Athulathmudali. The party also lost many second-tier leaders due to a variety of reasons during the period between 1993 and 1995. It was a young and inexperienced unit that was undergoing a transition, under Ranil’s leadership. Unfortunately, even 24 years into his leadership, this human capital crisis has not been resolved. The party is still desperately looking for leaders who are capable of pulling off miraculous victories in seemingly disadvantageous electorates. Is Ranil responsible for this crisis? The answer is obvious.

Ranil’s other major problem is how to manage himself and project himself as a national leader, shedding his Colombo-centric cocoon. He still does not enjoy the majority support at the grassroots level and the public, despite the Prime Minister’s pledges and reassurances to resuscitate the rural economy, still believe he does not understand the pulse of the common masses. It is hard to blame it entirely on the ‘war-hero persona’ of his rival Mahinda Rajapaksa. It has a lot do with the manner in which the Prime Minister communicates with the grassroots level. This ostensibly unbridgeable communication gap and the Prime Minister’s continuous indifference to it, it must be noted, has frustrated the rank and file of the UNP, time and time again.

His habit of occasionally running fellow ‘batsmen’ out needs no elaboration. Some batsmen who were stranded in the middle due to his clumsy calls ended up joining the rival teams, causing irreparable damage to the party. Had he managed to retain those players without running them out, his team would have been in an unassailable position. According to some, those who suffered the most due to these unwanted and unwarranted run-outs are promising young players who even demonstrated leadership potential. Again, such assumptions are made by critics, who often fail to comprehend the inner-working of political power-play.

However, despite all these unique weaknesses, there’s one important factor that makes a clear differentiation between Ranil and Mathews. Unlike the latter, Ranil has an uncanny and un-rivalled ability to read the game and shuffle his batting order accordingly. If it’s a losing game, Ranil would never go out to bat and expose himself to bouncy conditions. He has aced the art of absorbing extra players into the team, moving them up the in the batting order and sending them out to face hostile pitch conditions and venomous bowling attacks. Ranil knows this practice would cause damage to the team’s image and reputation, but at least he survives to fight another day.

He also understands the game so well that he immediately notices when the opponent is internally fragile but seemingly invincible on the outside. In such an event, he typically causes more bleeding in the rival camp by engineering eleventh hour defections and eventually turning the tables on the opponent. When Ranil last played the equivalent of a World Cup final in January 2015, he poached the most important player in the rival camp and pit him against the opposition. Leaving aside what happened over the past three and a half years and all the Yahapalanaya debacles, the sole act of causing defection at the heart of an enemy camp, without even batting an eyelid, mirrors the man’s mastery.

While there is a fair amount of ‘Mathews’ in Ranil, the beleaguered Sri Lankan Cricket captain, who is under persistent pressure to step down after appealing performance, still has a trick or two to learn from the wily ole Prime Minister.

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Latest comments

  • 2
    1

    We are again easily distracted. The team lost- it was NOT Angelo Mathews.

    Let us not forget that teams have their ups and downs. Team morale is the key factor.
    There was another game being played. The Sports Minister vs business interests. Did the Sports Minister lose?
    It is absurd to suggest that the Tamil Mathews lost, ‘to further the Tamil cause’.
    The bigots have been led to believe that ‘Tamils cause all our ills’. This is being extended to cricket.
    Mathew cannot speak Tamil, he had his education in Tamil, his wedding had all the hallmarks of Sinhalese. His mother cannot speak Tamil.
    .
    The culture of corruption/nepotism/impunity has infected SL cricket. We must remove the infection.

    • 1
      0

      Sorry typo
      The last but one sentence should have been “Mathew cannot speak Tamil, he had his education in Sinhalese, his wedding……………..”.

  • 4
    2

    I think the opening of the Colombo City Centre was no coincidence with the devaluation of the Rupee and the debacle against Afghanistan.

    Because of the opening of the Colombo City Centre our local bayyas forgot about the state of the Sri Lankan Rupee and the defeat to AFG.

    It is laughable when you see social media posts about this Colombo City Centre opening. There are mega shopping malls opening in Canada in every nook and corner and no one celebrates but our local Suddhis think they have conquered the world with just one mall in a hundred years.

    • 0
      0

      Yeah, that’s right – When they started building Colombo City Centre,, they timed it so perfectly to coincide with the future Devaluation of the Rupee and the future Afghan Cricket Match

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dead_mall

      • 2
        3

        Modaya,

        Opening of the mall was done hastily. Development would have started long ago but we are talking about the opening itself.

        Don’t worry about the dead malls in North America. Businesses go down from time to time. Their place will be taken by another like in the case of Zellers, Target and now Sears.

        If you want to bet against America, pour your money where your mouth is and we could see another beggars on the streets of Colombo. Or ask any shortseller during the last recession what happened to their money when they betted against American prosperity.

  • 0
    2

    Dumb and Dumber discuss how Great A MAtthew is the Bond Scam Looter. Way to go Sri lanka. Hand over it to some intelligent beggars, ?They will make it ant by these ?Ex – Royal boys who were used to CUT -SCHOOLS and failed O/L but they are visionaries.

  • 0
    2

    There is a global Recession on the horizon and most probably the world will be in a Recession in 2019 and particularly POOR – most democratic countries in the world feel the brunt. So, their companies will see for countries where the dollar can buy most. right now Sri lankan Rupee is sold at Rs 170 for tge dollar. So, the Ranil’s team will lose big. How he is going to prove it. His his HArvard team did not have an economic solution for the present economic turmoil. So, they say sell us every thing you have and promote it in 2020 AFTER THE ELECTION ath that time most sri lankans will be sweating for some foreigner to make money.

  • 3
    0

    Until now it was Lankan Matthews now he is Tamil Matthews . WOW cant beat this one. Question ? who should go out for the debacle of Lankan athletes who returned empty handed from Indonesian Games. May be they too are all Tamils????? Dr. Pandeniya here are quite a few cases for you to test and give your esteemed verdict.Guys let settle this matter right now.

  • 3
    4

    Mathews is a Tamil and can speak Tamil. Like Murali the buggar does not play for Lanka but for himself. All Tamils who are Tamilnadu natives are like that – never loves Lanka but hate it.

    Chuck the Tamil Mathews buggar out NOW.

    • 4
      1

      Mrs Udubaddewa can you please remind me the name of the tall Tamil girl helped Sri Lanka to be the Asia Champions. They will play in the world cup July 2019.

    • 4
      0

      Mrs Udubaddewa “..….Chuck the Tamil Mathews buggar out NOW”.
      Read the comment first and thought loudly “This must be Mrs Udubaddewa’.
      It is Mrs Udubaddewa! Yet again you got me Mrs Whatever!

  • 4
    0

    Dr. Pandeniya while you are at it please check Mrs. Udubaddewa too. She appears to be one of those Pseudo Patriot.I am sure if she goes to a hospital, say with severe/acute pain the first thing she will be inquiring is, the doctor/nurse is Tamil or other?????? (please identify your race , before testing so that she will cooperate. name does not matter to her, anyway you are now a famous personality because of your medical invention)

  • 1
    4

    Mr dear Chiv

    You said:

    “I am sure if she goes to a hospital, say with severe/acute pain the first thing she will be inquiring is, the doctor/nurse is Tamil or other”

    You are spot on. .I will certainly make that enquiry and look for a Sinhalese or Muslim doctor/nurse. Why? I love my love and want to live a life.

    • 5
      1

      Mrs Udubaddewa
      My reliable sources confirm you also like to wear army boots at home, take a couple of swigs, and bed Tamil refugee boys.

  • 2
    3

    Rajash

    She had to play otherwise cant enjoy the perks of being a sri lankan team player.

    But, like Maththews, Murali she may have played for herself not Lanka. But Muslims like ex Mulslim Dilshan always plays for Lanka. We Sinhalese trust them and we have no problem with them.

    Hope you understand/

    • 1
      0

      No I don’t understand…..can you please elaborate

  • 2
    5

    My dear Mrs Udubaddawe,

    You said “Chuck the Tamil Mathews buggar out NOW.”

    You meant how Australia chuked out the chuker Muralitharan?

    It was 1997?. I can still remember at MCG. The whole world was watching how the chucker was chucking. But we? We tried to safeguard a chucker. I blame Arujuna Ranathunga for this.

    We lost respect in Australia for trying to cover up a chucker.

    Muralitharan has brought disgrace to this motherland, It is good if he consider going back to his native place – Tamilnadu.

    With regards to Tamil Maththews – He MUST go.

  • 1
    6

    Mathews is a Tamil. What else can one expect under such a person captaining our side?

    • 7
      1

      Chula Menike

      “Mathews is a Tamil. What else can one expect under such a person captaining our side?”

      That sucks.
      Being a Tamil does he too chuck?

  • 3
    5

    My family guessed Mathews is a Tamil due to his dark colour. We are right!

    • 6
      1

      Jerome Schokman

      “My family guessed Mathews is a Tamil due to his dark colour. We are right!”

      You mabe right.
      They are dark, just like their Sinhala/Buddhists converts whose ancestors came to this island on Kallathonies from South India, example Wimal Sangili Karuppan Weerawansa, the thug in uniform Wijegunaratne, … and another 15 million of them.

    • 6
      0

      Jerome Schokman ~ “………Mathews is a Tamil due to his dark colour……….”..
      Is Sanath Jayasuria Tamil? How about former President R Premadasa?
      Do not drag your family in. They cannot be that daft!

    • 2
      2

      Jerome Schokman, you are a disgusting specimen – the descendant of the worst Kallathonis who ever arrived here without passports.
      .
      No doubt your ancestors displaced the Portuguese, but at least those guys were not racists, like the then Dutch. Today, Holland will not want you guys back. Where are you? Likely in Australia, where you went hunting the original inhabitants as recently as seventy years ago.
      .
      The Veddahs, the Sinhalese, and the Tamils have been here many millennia. If you cannot speak fair, please have nothing to do with us.
      .
      For most people, Mathews was wonderful when he was not plagued by injuries etc. For him, I have sympathy; the run outs were unfortunate, but yes, he was culpable.
      .
      As for the other guy in the comparison – he’s as disgusting as you. We can no longer joy in our cricketers, but they have not caused the grinding poverty that we are now subject to.

    • 4
      0

      In this comic island called Lanka, lot of weird things are going on. Two groups of humans are fighting, claiming to belong to sharply different ethnicities called “Sinhalese and Tamils.” But the funny thing is, most people who claim to be “Sinhalese” are actually of Tamil origin. And most of those who claim to be “Tamils” are of Malayali origin. Some are neither. The famous example is the new dynasty wannabes, the Rajapaksas. The modern saviours of Sinhala-Buddhism, Mahinda and his clan, are descendents of Javanese (Malay) traders and mercenaries settled by the Dutch in the Hambantota area. Like Matthews, most west coast Catholics who have embraced Sinhala identity are of Tamil/Malayali origin. Kapurala Nilaperumal was a Tamil interloper from South India who provided the genetic materials for the foundation of the Bandaranaike dynasty which eventually brought forth the Diyasena Kumaraya on the 2,500th anniversary of Lord Buddha’s Parinirvana in 1956. Most of the so called Kandyan aristocracy are of Tamil origin, being the products of Nayakkars and Madurai Kumaris’ mating activities. The species called the “burghers” is the result of nocturnal visits by local boys who were enamoured by the milk skin of Dutch girls who in return found the chocolate skin very kinky and irresistible.

  • 3
    1

    Jerome Shockman, you are an Aussie eh? Me too.

  • 3
    2

    Both in the photo are wearing blue ties, will they jump like frogs?

  • 6
    0

    Some comments show how easily they look at everything through ethnicity lenses.
    No wonder SLPP will confidently use the language/religion-divide yet again.

  • 2
    2

    My darling K Pillai, the same applies to TNA, EPDP, TELO, EPRLF and the like

  • 3
    5

    Chiv, Ajay, K Pillai, Native Vedda, Sinhala Man, Rajash are all Tamil racist pigs. From intelligent readers I ask to disregard them.

    • 4
      2

      Mrs Udubaddewa.
      .
      I try to be polite, but there is no point being so with a despicable sow like you. A few of us Sri Lankans speak English. I do, and I must acknowledge that it is possibly my stronger language. However, I will never claim that I’m “English” whatever that may be. I’m Sri Lankan.
      .
      I don’t know any Tamil whatever; in a very real sense Sinhala is my mother tongue, but if you want to pin a Tamil label on me because of the neutral thoughts I profess, I have no problem. I don’t feel insulted.
      .
      If you want proof of my identity, you will have both my name and two photographs here:
      .
      https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/the-thomian-pharisees-are-unrepentant-why-this-matters-to-all-sri-lankans/
      .
      Yes, I was baptised as an Anglican Christian, but am hardly considered to be a person of that faith. I respect Buddhism, but I have never called myself “a Buddhist”. I don’t want a classification, I’m just an aging human being who has learnt that all humans, though imperfect, belong to one species.
      .
      I don’t think that you belong to the species homo sapiens. I will not erase what I have already written, but never hereafter will I call you an animal.
      .
      I have no right to insult animals.
      .
      Panini Edirisinhe

    • 1
      2

      I have already disregarded Native Veddha. A Tamil scum bag who should have been buried underground during the war. Too bad our soldiers missed that one.

      You know what we do to fellas like him back in the service? We’d vaslinate their rear ends and go to work on it. One after another.

  • 2
    6

    I read the link provided by Panini Edirisinhe above.

    Panini Edirisinhe has written the article, then he had praised his article through comments made by himself, under the pseudo name Sinahala_Man.

    This is fraud.

    Due to his fraud we can understand what sort of a person he is.

    Panini Edirisinhe , before insulting distibuguished people in these coulumns as worse that of animals, I ask Panini Edirisinhe to go in fron of a mirror and see who is the real animal.

    • 3
      0

      Fraud? Please identify untruths, if any. Just one even.
      .
      I have googled for “Zenith Roszyro”; I can find no such person. Why don’t you reveal your true identity? Most regular readers know my identity; it may be that you didn’t up to now.
      .
      Who are these distinguished people? Mrs Udubaddewa?
      .
      I must, on occasion, drawn the attention of readers to the contents of not only my articles, but also to response comments by others. I know I have, on occasion, inserted explanatory comments on issues raised, calling myself “Sinhala_Man”, but leaving no doubt in anybody’s mind, that he and Panini are one and the same.
      .
      This is very different from what others (you included?) keep doing to deliberately mislead.
      .
      The ball is once more in your court; I leave it to other readers to just do a random sample – there’s too much there for anyone to read all – but you’re welcome to.

  • 0
    5

    CT
    Please do not allow the insulting of distinguished commentors of this forum. Categorising a person as sub animal is most inapproporiate for a worthy website like CT.

    • 3
      0

      Are Gopinath and Zenith Roszyro one and the same person, although with different gravatars?
      .
      Panini Edirisinhe and “Sinhala_Man” do have different gravatars since I insert them using different e-mail addresses. The Editors of Colombo Telegraph know that to be the case.
      .
      Who are these “Distinguished People”? Yes, when I insult people like you, it does hurt, doesn’t it? But it will be difficult for you to find me using un-parliamentary language.
      .
      Substantiate, please.

  • 4
    0

    Didnt I say guys Mrs. Udu needs immediate help. I am not surprised by the numbers where people came up with such ignorant, racial slurs.Dark color, Muslim Dilshan, Tamil Mathews, Non Tamil Doctor when having a heart attack???? Now for the rest who are naive here are the answers (crystal clear ) why we as a country is screwed beyond salvage.Unfortunately majority populace are of this kind.Thanks to politicians for this Pavlovian transformation (mutation???) over years and years of hard work. Jeyawewa.

  • 0
    1

    I am gald the true identity of the deceptful man Sinahala_Man revealed

    • 2
      0

      Tissa Madawala,
      .
      My “true identity” has never been secret – and revealed by whom? Myself!
      .
      When have I been “deceptful”?
      .
      Why don’t the members of your gang reveal their identities? “Gopinath” is meant to sound Tamil, but he defends “Mrs Udubaddewa.”
      .
      Do you think that you are fooling anybody?

  • 2
    0

    Sinhala- Man, please continue to voice your opinions regardless of others ignorance or name calling. . The whole purpose is to shut us down. But that should be of a motivation to do the same or even more.

    • 1
      0

      Thanks, chiv.
      .
      As you see they can substantiate nothing.
      .
      Of course I have my faults, but I don’t think myself a public menace.

  • 0
    0

    At this moment I am ready to do my breakfast, once having my breakfast coming again to read further news.

    • 0
      0

      Dear ucminiapp.in.
      .
      ?

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