I usually start by saying that I’m not a fan of cricket, but that’s not true anymore. I am a fan of cricket. Not a knowledgeable one or an avid one, but I really enjoy the game. I honestly think that Twenty20 Cricket is the first truly new sport of the century and incredibly awesome for anyone to watch. Cricket is the only game I know which can scale from 5 days down to three hours and be enjoyable in different ways. I’m also proud that Sri Lanka is respected and awesome at this sport, which is why I’m also really sad to see it getting politicized.
Something went really wrong in the World Cup. Sri Lanka basically lost because we put in a sub-standard team and afterwards the captain, vice-captain and selection committee all stepped down. Something was seriously wrong in the management. And something still is. As far as I’m concerned, the less I hear about the cricket board, the better. Their job is to help the players play. That’s it. Instead, they’ve been acting like they own the place.
Take the IPL fiasco. Players from all over the world go to India to play in the Indian Premier League. It’s short (like two months?), awesome fun and the players can actually make a living without selling pens or engine oil. It’s honestly good for everybody. Almost every year, however, the Sri Lankan cricket board signs everything releasing the players and then tries to call them back at the last minute.
This time they’ve tried to bring all the players back for a test match with England. This would have the effect of A) stripping a lot of teams B) removing two team captains C) depriving players of income and D) looking like international dicks. Thankfully the Cricket Board has failed in all objectives except D (for douchebaggery).
They’re also directly messing with Lasith Malinga to the point that he’s quit test cricket altogether. He’s injured and they had the audacity to ask why he plays T20 instead of test cricket. Well, maybe because he’d bowl as much in one test match as he would in one season of IPL (Island Cricket). Also, these are not indentured servants and their knees are their own. Also, he’s fucking awesome! Who does the cricket board think they are?
It’s like why? Throughout the war, throughout all the bullshit, cricket was one thing that Sri Lanka could enjoy. I know that it was political, but the politics didn’t spill out so uglily. Since Sangakarra and Mahela declined the captaincy, Dilshan Tillekeratne took it. Sanga and especially Mahela I respect greatly, while Dilshan is a great player. But the board is using him like a scab. Dilshan is saying that he’ll come back early to support the nation while Mahela, Sanga and Murali are like WTF? It’s just splitting the team, making us look like international dummies and, quite honestly, I think this mismanagement cost us the cup.
I like Sri Lankan politics as one sort of sport and cricket as another. Like Shehan says in Chinaman, “unlike life, sport matters”. Now, however, politics and cricket are starting to mix and it’s really unpleasant to watch. It’s just not cricket.