24 September, 2018

Blog

Well Done Our Cricketing Greats

By Rajeewa Jayaweera

Rajeewa Jayaweera

The invitation extended by Minister of Provincial Councils, Local Government and Sports, Faiszer Musthapha to former cricket legends Mahela Jayawardene, Muthiah Muralitharan, Aravinda de Silva, Roshan Mahanama and Kumar Sangakkara to be Consultants to Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) has been rejected emphatically. 

Mahela was the first to respond with a tweet “With all due respect to the selectors and the Sports Minister I have spent one year in the cricket committee and six months in a special advisory committee and no recommendations were implemented. I don’t have any trust in the system. If anyone wants to buy time, please don’t use us”. 

Murali, in an official statement on Facebook, stated “I am of the view that it is an insincere, cunning move, more to use us when the Cricket administration is in such a deplorable state and stand by the sentiments that Mahela has expressed not able to trust the system as per his own experience of attempting to resolve pressing issues which was never implemented. It is sad that National cricketers are not consulted until it hits rock bottom! I would not hesitate to give of my time if I do realize the genuineness and credibility of the administration despite my own professional coaching engagements worldwide.”

Aravinda, speaking to the Sunday Island stated “The past players have been called up several times to help, but very little progress has been made. It is not rocket science as to how we could fix things. We have given proposal after proposal for the last so many years. We feel that there is an issue with implementing these recommendations for some reason. If the recommendations are not implemented there is a problem in the system.” 

Roshan, in a letter, addressed to the Minister stated, ” It is my strong belief that we need to properly address and resolve some of the burning issues that the SLC is currently faced with prior to the formation of this Committee. Absolute honesty, transparency, and adherence to accepted norms and practices in all dealings connected with SLC are of paramount importance. Further, in the interest of the game that all so passionately love, a new Refreshing Plan of Action to resurrect Sri Lanka Cricket should receive the highest priority. I have a list of points that I have noted, some of which was discussed with you during our brief meeting a few days ago.  Whilst appreciating your invitation, I am resultantly compelled to inform you of my inability to accept your invitation unless these issues are properly addressed and resolved. I must emphasize in conclusion, that my stance on this matter should not be misconstrued as lack of concern on my part to assist Sri Lanka Cricket. I would do my very best to assist Sri Lanka Cricket at any time but I detest political interference, dishonesty and lack of transparency at any level and until someone makes a positive to eliminate them, I consider it prudent to stick to my principles and play the selective role I have chosen.

Sanga, in a letter to the Minister, wrote “I am respectfully declining the same in light of my past experiences serving on a similar committee under the invitation of the former Minister of Sports. I spent over six months on that particular advisory committee and found it to be an abject waste of time as none of our recommendations were implemented or heeded. I firmly believe that what is needed for SLC is not temporary band-aids and short-term quick fixes, but lasting and permanent change. There are many cricketers and administrators with genuine intentions that will not come forward with their time, efforts and ideas as time and time again they feel they have been taken advantage of and used as pawns to buy time for political maneuvering. If you, Sir, are able to establish genuine bona fides and harness the support and commitment of H. E. The President of Sri Lanka, the Hon. Prime Minister and all other relevant public officials to make the required revisions, changes and amendments to the constitution of SLC and the Sports Law, I am sure that you will receive the full co-operation of myself, the larger cricketing fraternity, and the public.”

It may be recalled, Sanga, taking a principled stand declined the coveted position of High Commissioner to the UK offered by President Sirisena in the early days of the Yahapalana government. 

The gist of all five responses is their willingness to contribute to Sri Lanka Cricket constructively. However, they are reluctant to respond to the Minister’s call on this occasion due to their past experience from previous stints in assisting SLC when their recommendations were ignored.

Minister Mustapha has to pay the penalty for ignorance, misdeeds and corrupt practices of previous Sports Ministers, Presidents of SLC and other administrators, some of who have not even held a bat or bowled a ball in competitive cricket. 

It is indeed gratifying to learn; we still have Sri Lankans prepared to say enough is enough, take a principled stand and safeguard their self-respect without succumbing to prestige and positions thus ending up kowtowing to Ministers.  

Younger players and fans alike, take note, these are the type of persons who should be considered role models and worthy of emulation. At the same time, do ignore some other cricketing greats who after hanging their cricket boots entered politics, joined the gravy train and blotted their record sheets.

It is not only the younger generations who could learn from the disciplined and principled stand taken by the quintet. 

Septuagenarians and several octogenarians who simply refuse to go away continue to hang on to ‘satakas,’ ‘sareepotas’ and ‘coat tails’ of politicians. They could learn a thing or two from the stand taken by the five former greats. These septuagenarians and octogenarians, who have built their houses, educated their children and traveled the globe yet continue to cling on to high positions, carrying our directives from their political masters who are administratively, ethically and morally incorrect, as divulged during the ‘Sil Redi’ case. 

Corporate leaders retiring from the private sector and entering public service as Chairmen and Directors of state enterprises too could take a leaf from the copybook of these five cricketers and decline to toe the line of Ministers and politicians.            

Let us say three cheers to Mahela, Murali, Aravinda, Roshan, and Sanga.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Latest comments

  • 2
    0

    “Septuagenarians and several octogenarians who simply refuse to go away continue to hang on to ‘satakas,’ ‘sareepotas’ and ‘coat tails’ of politicians”

    Politicians need them for survival. As for Sri Lanka cricket corruption is from top to bottom and right across. Political interference from highest levels adds to the woes.

  • 1
    0

    Rajeewa Jayaweera

    If ever there was any wrong doing within the cricket fraternity then I know a person who can cover it up for the establishment, he lives in the UK and Sri Lankan’s trust him more than their own people. I would like to think so. –
    Has this got anything to do with Hindian machination?

  • 3
    0

    Cricketing Greats – Well done. you have played the Gentlemen’ s game .

  • 2
    0

    This article supports the previous ” Sri Lanka a shameful country like no other???”. These gentlemen who played the sports in the right way and brought glories to nation, made us proud, put Lanka in the world map for the right reasons and highly respected by fellow cricketers, have clearly voiced their opinion.If the board and ministry have hit the bottom, one may have to ask about the state of the country????. These guys are diplomatic and trying level best to maintain dignity. Where as Lasith was more outright and honest. What a hue and cry was made and he was forced to apologize to then minister. This is a guy who sacrificed everything including his physical and mental well being to the nation.Now quite a few will come up with the reasoning of monetary benefits. But then again the officials and ministers have benefited way beyond without a drop of sweat.

  • 1
    2

    The photo adjoining this article is of a Sri Lanka Sinhala Buddhist Monk in Saffron Robe with a bat – batting.

    This sums up the state of the cricket and the country and why these past cricketing Greats walked away from the offer to help.

    Not sure if the phot was chosen by the CT editors or by the author

    • 1
      0

      Rajash
      FYI, I had nothing to do with the photo attached to its selection.

      • 1
        0

        Rajeewa – Thanks for the Clarification.
        CT Editors – over to you for an explanation. – why not photo of one of the greats ..and what is the agenda behind choosing a photo of a monk playing cricket?
        I withdraw my comment above.

  • 6
    0

    Mahela, Murali, Aravinda, Roshan, and Sanga

    As always, you guys are the silver lining in this tumultuous time in our country. You guys exemplify the best in our culture: fair-mindedness, easy-going, friendliness and sportsmanship. Keep it up – our outstanding ambassadors to the world.

  • 1
    0

    May help if SLC is put under the direct rule of ICC. How about John Howard as the Competent Authority?

  • 1
    0

    Mr. Jayaweera: what I heard, recently, Just before thilanga Sumathipala Leaving the Cricket board, declared that Crickets lose matches but they were very pfotiable. How evern, Thilanga Sumathipala who is a NATIONA LIST MP and not electd, had to leave it. The story had been he had used Cricket in his Casino also to bet as well as cricket had lost money while thilanga Sumathipala was the Administirator or who ever. Another point is Thilanaga Sumathipala had given money to Maithripala Srisiena to conduct his 2015 presidential campaign. So, Thilanaga Sumathipala may have earned back that money with lot of interest from the Cricket board. My poiont is why they cannot appoint all the retired cricketers to the cricket board. If they need they can establish that as a limited company in which the govt owns a certain percantage say 51% and gives the balance to adminsitrors plus cricketrs. Instead, there is a politican there, that is to steal and probably to elect second grade cricketers (I do not know about that as no one talks). Some how Cricket lost lof of money with Thilanga Sumathipala. He is known as a top class crook.

  • 1
    0

    These days we hear many suggestions as to how the Sri Lankan democracy could be resurrected from its dead bed. At this critical hour the five Cricketing Greats – Mahala, Murali, Aravinda, Roshan and Sanga praised in this article are highly valuable assets for any reform. They can be compared to the Pancha Maha Balavegaya (Five Great Forces) of SWRD era. What we need is a Ven Maduluwe Sobitha Thero or a National Movement for a Just Society to make use of these golden assets to benefit the whole country.

    • 1
      1

      A. Sellathurai

      “They can be compared to the Pancha Maha Balavegaya (Five Great Forces) of SWRD era.”

      Do you think SWRD Banda and his Pancha Maha Balavegaya campaign benefited this island in anyway positively?

  • 1
    1

    A. Sellathurai

    “They can be compared to the Pancha Maha Balavegaya (Five Great Forces) of SWRD era.”

    Do you think SWRD Banda and his Pancha Maha Balavegaya campaign benefited this island in anyway positively?

  • 1
    0

    Congrats to these great cricketers who have played the game as gentlemen. the Thilangas and Faizers and scumbag retirees like the Jayasuriya puppet should be fired from the Board and banned for life from participating in SL cricket administration. Ministers like Dayasiri and Thilanga have never played the game except the game of political manipulation. These imbeciles will sell their mothers for any benefit they can get. A bloody disgrace and should be made to disappear both from cricket and political participation. With idiots like this at the top don’t except any good governance or accountability as they are only their to line their pockets like the previosu crook Mahandagamage whose ex wife is now exposing his crooked deeds.

  • 0
    0

    How come Sarath Jayasuria has not added his name? Not yet?

Leave A Comment

Comments should not exceed 300 words. Embedding external links and writing in capital letters are discouraged. Commenting is automatically shut off on articles after 10 days and approval may take up to 24 hours. Please read our Comments Policy for further details. Your email address will not be published.