Exposed! How Thilanga Sumathipala has taken Sri Lanka Cricket for Ransom Again?

Written by N Krishnamurthy

The demon of Thilanga Sumathipala has returned again to haunt Sri Lanka Cricket! The former notorious and controversial president of SLC, who could not contest President election due to his family’s involvement in betting and gambling, is still trying his best to paralyze Sri Lanka Cricket as he still hold a laughable post called immediate past President at SLC. In last one month, the uncertainty over Sri Lanka head coach Chandika Hathurasingha, COO Jerome Jayarathne and Chief Cricket operating officer Asanka Gurusinha proves that Sumathipala is on mission once again to dismantle the stability of the cricket board, shamefully at a time when national team’s are returning on winning track!

Right after Sri Lanka’s failed campaign in recently concluded World Cup, SLC Top officials had decided to remove head coach Chandika Hathurasingha, who failed miserably to advance Sri Lanka beyond group stage. Even after getting an unimaginable salary figure of 40,000 USD per month and big mouthing of lifting team’s performance, Hathurusingha turned a white elephant for SLC, as team for only failed in all three formats, but the unity of the dressing room also hit rock bottom!

So, rightly, SLC Top officials, including president Shammi Silva, were on the opinion to start a new beginning for Sri Lanka Cricket lost world cup debacle, by replacing Hathurusingha with a new coach.

However, Sumathipala had different plans as usually!

For Sumathipala, interest of Sri Lanka Cricket always comes secondary. The chief architect in destroying Sri Lanka cricket for decades, Sumathipala has become notorious for backing wrong person’s.

Those, who can not deliver results or can not contribute to Sri Lanka Cricket, goes to Punchi Borella for their survival and worship Sumathipala. And, then Sumathipala starts his manipulation and further destroys Sri Lanka Cricket in order to protect his loyal’s interests. Now, in Gurusinha’s case, he is doing the same!

In Hathurusingha’s case, he did the same.

On August 2, SLC top officials, including Shammi Silva and Sumathipala, met Sports Minister Harin Fernando to discuss about the removal of Hathurusingha. However, as other Top officials were on the opinion to remove Hathurusingha, Sumathipala and SLC assistant secretary Crysantha Kapuwatha opposed it! As a result, SLC could not take any decision on Hathurusingha and ultimately he was asked to reply board charge sheet within 14 days. So, Hathurusingha’s matter is still pending, due to Sumathipala.

At the same meeting, SLC top officials proposed board COO Jerome Jayarathne’s name as interim coach for ongoing New Zealand Series. Jerome, even though has turned a complete failure as COO, is considered a capable coach. However, three days later, SLC had to appoint Sri Lanka fast bowling coach Rumesh Rathnayake and interim coach, as on Sumathipala’s order, assistant secratary Crysantha Kapuwatha sent a circular within SLC members, mentioning about Rathnayake’s appointment. Again, Sumathipala manipulated things and overturned democratically taken decisions!

Now, third time in a row, Sumathipala is again going against democratically taken decision by SLC to not to extend Gurusinha’s contract.

On Friday (August 16) at SLC ExCo meeting, majority of Top officials were on the opinion to not to extend Gurusinha’s contract. However, again, Sumathipala opposed it, by saying that Gurusinha must be given another term or be brought at board as an administrator.

More Shockingly, today, on Sumathipala’s order, SLC secretary Mohan De Silva circulated a resolution of retaining Gurusinha, that too without the consent of board President Shammi Silva!

Cricket Age has the access of that mail, sent by Mohan De Silva, that reads:

“Dear all,

Please refer to the email sent by Hon. Thilanga Sumathipala – immediate past President SLC – which is self explanatory.

Since this matter relating to Mr. Asanka Gurusinha extension was unresolved at the last Executive Committee meeting held on 16th August 2019, I shall thank you to kindly send me your response within 24 hours from receipt of this mail.

In the event that no response is received within the stipulated time, it will be assumed that you are in favour of the proposal forwarded by the Hon. Thilanga Sumathipala and action to be taken accordingly.”

The email clearly proves that Sumathipala, who could not contest SLC election, due to his family’s involvement in betting and gambling, has again taken the board on ransom and is acting as a dictator.

The reality is that at SLC high performance centre at Khetterama, as incharge, Gurusinha has paralyzed Sri Lanka Cricket big time.

At Khetterama, his responsibility was to assigning and supervising all the High performance coaches. However, majority of coaches were not happy with him, largely due to his inability to identify their talents and strengths.

Under Gurusinha’s supervision at Khetterama, Sri Lanka Cricket lost more coaches than nurturing!

During his tenure, he didn’t recommended quality coaches like Piyal Wijetunge, Lanka Silva, Rohitha Perera and Ajith Ekanayaka, thus their contracts were not renewed.

However, as mentioned above, the interest of Sri Lanka Cricket comes secondary for Sumathipala. His main objective has always been to take control over Sri Lanka Cricket and manipulate things according to his wish. In that process, it is the Sri Lanka Cricket, which always suffers. It is indeed a classic case of how a single man has taken entire nation’s cricket for ransom!

About the author

N Krishnamurthy