Top Players Refusal for Pakistan tour exposes SLC

Written by N Krishnamurthy

The decision of country’s all top players to stay away from Pakistan tour has exposed theunplanned managementof Sri Lanka Cricket Board (SLC) yet again. The reality is that the functioning of SLC has now shrunked around only three people’sPresident Shammi Silva, Vice president Ravin Wickramaratne and politically influenced Chief selector cum manager cum board’s unofficial spokesperson Asantha De Mel. Now, after 10 players have pulled out of Pakistan ODIs and T20Is, the tour will benefited only Asantha De Mel, Who will once again be able to include his favorites, his bosses favorites and bosses of his bosses favorites.

In the second week of August, a SLC delegation had visited Pakistan to assess security arrangements before the proposed tour of the national team. Under the leadership of ever dependable SLC secretary Mohan De Silva, the delegation efficiently assessed the security arrangements at both the venues – Lahore and Karachi – and cleared the way for the national team’s visit.

However, while Mohan De Silva led delegation did their part with perfection, before this, the SLC forgot to confirm the most important thing: whether it’s players would be ready to play in Pakistan or not.

It could have been a simple management strategy. The SLC must have checked with its players first about touring with the team before giving any sort of assurance to Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB).

However, there is no management at SLC, especially in last few months, to take this sort of Common sense decisions.

Right now, the reality of Sri Lanka Cricket is that there are only three bosses – Shammi Silva, Ravin Wickramaratne and ever clueless and biased Asantha De Mel.

Shammi Silva, all this time, was busy in Sumathipala’s, Hathurusingha’s and Gurusinha’s.

Ravin Wickramaratne (as usually) must have been busy in procurement things all this while!

Asantha De Mel, meanwhile, is a multi tasking person anyway, and as he likes to shoulder many responsibilities at the same time, he has very little time for anything!

So, before giving a ray of hope to PCB, no one bothered to take players in confidence.

As a result, Now SLC has left with no other choice, but to send a third string team to Pakistan, as players like regular ODI captain Dimuth Karunaratne, regular T20 captain Lasith Malinga, Angelo Mathews, Dinesh Chandimal, Thisara Perera, Kusal Perera, Niroshan Dickwella, Dananjaya De Silva, Akila Dananjaya, Suranga Lakmal all have refused citing security concerns.

That’s how, an appreciable gesture to send a team to Pakistan to play cricket has turned into an embarrassment for SLC, due to its incompetence in taking right decision at the right time.

Now, Asantha De Mel is the only person, who will be benefited from this embarrassing situation.

By appointing his ever favorite blue eyed baby Lahiru Thirimane as ODI captain for the tour, Asantha has already fulfilled his dream of life. In addition, Now as all top players have refused, he will bring all his favorites. Like the World Cup, when he allotted joyrides to Milinda Siriwardena and Jeevan Mendis, this time also, Asantha might have taken all the recommendation lists from his political guardians (he prefers the recommendation only from the son of a top politician). The refusal of 10 players has given him the opportunity to gift national caps to another set of mediocre, but politically influenced players!


About the author

N Krishnamurthy