20 October, 2020

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The Miracle Of Cricket

By Malinda Seneviratne –

Malinda Seneviratne

Malinda Seneviratne

It has been an incredible run.  The word can be used considering how quickly Sri Lanka became a force to reckon with after achieving test status.  The word ‘incredible’ is apt for many other reasons.  Just check the records chalked up by Sri Lanka and Sri Lankans over the past few years.

Sri Lanka is not one of the so-called ‘Big Three’, but there’s only so much bigness and clout in the cricketing market can purchase.  Sri Lanka is not the No 1 test-playing nation, but it’s been No 1 in ODIs and in T-20 versions.  There are other feats.  Highest totals in tests, ODIs and T-20s.  There’s Murali’s 800 wickets.  Partnership records.  Second-only-to-the-Don records set by Kumar Sangakkara.

More than all this, there’s heart.  Few would deny that Sri Lanka has as much heart as mind, technique and cricketing sense.  That’s something.

What is miraculous, however, has nothing to do with bat, ball, what happens in the middle, ‘Spirit of Cricket’ speeches, records, match-winning or match-saving performances etc. It is about all this happening in a sport which has been administered by egotists, crooks and morons, sometimes all rolled together.

Sure, there have been exceptional individuals at the helm of Sri Lanka Cricket and the Cricket Board.  Their commitment, ability and vision went a long way in setting up a strong foundation. Indeed if the players and teams have not been tripped too much it has a lot to do with intelligent and giving individuals putting certain things in place.

Times have changed though.

Financial mismanagement, scandals and non-payment of salaries are so common that a smoothly functioning cricket establishment has become a utopian concept.  If we were just saying ‘the sport’s administrative body is a mess’ it would not be worrisome.  What is disturbing is that we have reached a point where people are openly saying ‘it will always be a mess’.

What is sad is that when the President of Sri Lanka Cricket and his Secretary have a spat and it comes out in the open, few are bothered.  Scandal and Cricket go together, the general public has come to understand and even expect.  Catty comments, contradictions, retractions, denials, accusations and counter-accusations are ‘par for the course’ as far as Cricket Sri Lanka goes.  Indeed, considering the corruption and mismanagement are frequently tagged to that body, such things seem quite mild.

No one will say that cricketers are saints.  No one will say that ‘the 11 men out there’ and only ‘the 11 men out there’ have brought glory to the country.  There is a thing called ‘supporting cast’.  There are nuts and bolts that have to be put in place by ‘officials’, elected ones and employees.  Should not be downplayed.  But then again, considering the interminable hiccups that plague this particular sporting body, it is incredible that Sri Lanka manages to actually field 11 individuals in all international encounters.  It is a miracle, then, that they’ve done what they’ve done on an impressively regular basis.

While we can step back in awe at this miracle, it must be understood that there’s only so much miracle-fuel that heart and skill can conjure.  That fuel will run out someday.  There is reason, after all, why the word ‘patch’ goes with ‘purple’ when one refers to an incredible run by an individual or a team.  ‘Patches’ by definition speak of highs preceded and followed by lows.

It was a tough ask for Sri Lanka to beat the rain and reach a target back in Galle, but that’s still kids’ stuff compared to asking someone, anyone, to set Sri Lanka Cricket right.  It has to be done, though.  Those in the know would probably say ‘too far gone’.  Well that would amount to making a case for sweeping the garbage out, cleaning house and setting things back in place from scratch.  If that’s what has to happen, then there’s no way around it.

We shall of course savor the miracle(s) produced by Angelo Matthews and his men.  The future asks for more. A bigger miracle, perhaps, but one that has to be conjured if we are to get more Mahela-moments, Sanga-moments, Murali-moments, Matthews-moments, team-moments  and of course more Mahelas, Sangas, Muralis and Angelos.

*Malinda Seneviratne is the Chief Editor of ‘The Nation’ and his articles can be found at www.malindawords.blogspot.com

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Latest comments

  • 4
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    .
    You may be better off writing about cricket.

    :-)

    • 4
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      Malinda S,

      “You may be better off writing about cricket”

      Are the shilling and Whitewashing opportunists limited in cricket compared to SL MaRa Shilling and whitewashing?

    • 1
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      Not writing – lap topping

    • 1
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      Malinda Seneviratne –

      “You may be better off writing about cricket.”

      Malinda, you are self insured. Hard to lie in Cricket. The players have to go out and play.

      This is what two different Sri lanka, Sinhala Buddhist, who went to USA said:

      1. “Netthi Garuka Ratak”. A Country that follows the Laws.

      2. “Boru Nathi Ratak” No lies Country. Well, there are some lies, but not Wholesale.

      Now. Lanka, the land of native Veddah is, under MaRa,

      1. “Netthi Garu NOkarana Ratak”. A Country that does NOT follows the Laws.

      2. “Boru Karana Ratak” Lying Country, courtesy MaRa

      Is this the Laptop effect? Shill effect Just Curious…

      Just an observation.

      PS.

      Now We all know lankaweb , Lorenzo, Leela, Sumanasekera etc lies, when the claim opinions are welcome, but nit true for Amatrasiri’s comments. It gives them, and the Shills indigestion…

  • 0
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    its quite amazing for such a small country .

  • 7
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    So true. But it is not only in cricket. Even in other sports there are many inexplicable things. For instance take the Sri Lankan Chess team – guess who the captain is? (see http://www.dailymirror.lk/news/51156-sl-strikes-gold-at-chess-olympiad.html) Yep, the “non-playing captain” is none other than young Malinda who is ranked 143rd in Sri Lanka, 9772nd in Asia and 107,984 in the world. (See http://ratings.fide.com/card.phtml?event=9905545) No doubt a world class player! Why would he be named the non-playing captain?!! He could be the manager (after all he has political clout and could organise funds etc)…

    BTW, I am not sure what gold we won – apart from the Daily Mirror no other news site seems to indicate that we won the gold!!! To be fair the daily mirror does mention that we won our category. Now what category is that, I wonder? The category for politically appointed non-playing captains teams? Also if we were in a special category how correct would Malinda’s statement about the brave playing against higher ranked teams be appropriate? If we were in a special category then one would imagine that the other teams too were more or less as bad or good as we were!

    S

  • 2
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    Sulaiman:
    Thanks for exposing this [Edited out] one more time!
    This [Edited out] has no sense of shame and writes on subjects that only one of the “protected rajapassa pandankarayas” can write about with a straight face.
    I think the MAHARAJA should make him the head of Sri Lanka Cricket very soon because he is eminently suited for the job as a sycophant par excellence.

  • 0
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    Malinda is rambling on and on, and I am not really sure what point he is trying to make.

    Looks like a Herath “doosra” has struck this poor fellow on his silly nut…. and he is now in a spin!

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