Sanga at charity match, photo by Dhammika Heenpella / Images of Sri Lanka
Sri Lankan cricket is great. Sri Lanka Cricket is awful. To quote DJ Shadow, It’s the money. As Sanga has exposed, after Sri Lanka won the World Cup in ’96, a bunch of unsavory interests got involved. One of them was big-time bookie Thilanga Sumapthipala (per Roebuck on Cricinfo). Now we’ve got a Member of Parliament playing on the team and the President’s witch doctor giving steroids to players. Things are completely messed.
Here is a brief list of forced errors by the Sri Lanka Cricket Board
- World Cup #Fail: Replacing nearly half of the team before the final and losing when those players played badly
- IPL #Fail: Trying to pull Sri Lankans out of the IPL and losing face when they didn’t
- Test Cricket #Fail: Trying to pull an injury-prone Lasith Malinga into test cricket, and losing him entirely when he retired from the format (50 and 20 over cricket)
- SLPL #Fail: Starting a Sri Lankan Premier League with some dodgy Singaporean company and being surprised when the Indians pull out, no one buys the TV rights, and no marketing is done
- Media #Fail: sending SMS news alerts for every bad micro-decision, including deciding to fly to India and then not deciding to fly.
- Job #Fail: Having administrators more in the news than, you know, cricket
Who’s to blame? Well, the proper question is, who can do anything about it. Mahinda. The President is intimately involved with cricket and he shouldn’t be. He appoints the Sports Minister and that Sports Minister is messing stuff up and interfering.
What to do? Follow the recent amendments to the ICC Constitution and end political interference in an independent board. Which is what Kumar recommends, and which is necessary to prevent suspension from cricket.
Honestly, at this point if you did selection through a Facebook poll it’d probably be better than these narrow-minded administrators. What’s been their response to Kumar’s balanced, diplomatic and debatable speech? An investigation into… the speech.