Sumathipala, Dambulla And Foreign Interests!

Written by N Krishnamurthy

Right after the 1996 historical world cup win, Thilanga Sumathipala has forcefully become the ‘adopted son’ of Sri Lanka Cricket! He and his gang of looters curtailed all the progress of cricket in the island, instead together they chose the path to destroy the game in every aspect. Dambulla Stadium is one of the classic example of this! In Sri Lanka, Sumathipala built a non Asian Stadium, that gives advantage to foreign teams and players!

Situated in the dry zone, the real rationale behind the project – which was championed by Sumathipala – was that it provided Sri Lanka with the potential to host ODI matches throughout the year.

Of late, though, it has become one of the least successful ground for Sri Lanka. Since 2014, Sri Lanka haven’t won a single ODI at the venue. In July this year, Sri Lanka lost both the matches of the ODI series against South Africa at Dambulla. In the ongoing series against England, Sri Lanka have lost second ODI, after first match was abandoned due to persistant rain.

Allegations are that SLC starts the tour from Dambulla because of non cricketing reasons! During his corruption filled two years tenure at SLC, Sumathipala has appointed his confidentials on top posts in every province to dominate the proceedings!

Accordingly, In north central Province, he has inserted his closest associate Sujeewa Godaliyadda. He is the secretary of North Central Province and secretary of matale District and president of many small clubs. Also, the in-charge of Dambulla since province centre is Dambulla.

During the South Africa series, he allowed Sumathipala and his family members to inspect Dambulla pitch few hours before First ODI. Sri Lanka lost next both matches there! Then, he threatened SLC CEO Ashley De Silva when he refused to double the expenses of Dambulla matches. SLC organises matches at Dambulla, only to give Godaliyadda and his looters to gain maximum profit by manipulating things!

Though, general cricket loving public may not be that much upset by Godaliyadda’s manipulation! What is disturbing is even though Sumathipala termed the stadium as dry zone, matches being played here, were always intrupted by rain, especially in October-November.

Another fact is that Dambulla wicket assist visiting teams, instead of Sri Lanka. It’s a bouncy wicket and is tailor made for non-asian countries like New Zealand, South Africa and England. Ideally, SLC should have utilized Dambulla for training before leaving for non asian countries tour’s.

Instead, SLC starts every home series from Dambulla and more often than not losses the series due to this bad scheduling!

“Dambulla is always good for western countries and we always commence the tour without home advantage. It should be the other way round. Should play first two matches in RPICS to get home advantage” an insider at north central province told Cricket Age.

“SLC organises matches at Dambulla only because Sujeewa could claim so much match expenses, with so many repairs” he added further.

About the author

N Krishnamurthy