Inside Story

Colts Shane Fernando Questions Bandula Dissanayake Over U23 Tournament’s ‘Bizarre Grouping’

Written by Sumit Seth

Shane Fernando, the chairman of prestigious Colts Cricket committee, has questioned Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) tournament committee chairman Bandula Dissanayake over the bizarre placing of the teams in four groups in the ongoing U23 Tournament. The ongoing SLC U-23 tournament consists of 26 teams, divided into four groups.

Cricket Age had exposed on September 22nd itself that how Bandula Dissanayake is taking full advantage of being the chairman of the committee, by frequently changing venues and postponing matches of his club Lankan CC.

In the U23 tournament, which commenced on September 16, Chilaw Marians has been placed in group ‘B’, while Colts in the group ‘C’. As per the tournament fixtures, top team of the group A will play against group D topper in the first semifinal on October 7. Likewise, top team of the group B will be playing against the group C topper in the second semifinal semi final on the same day. It means, if both Colts and Chilaw Marians tops in the group stage, they will be ended up playing against each other in the second semifinal at NCC.

In a letter sent to Dissanayake, Shane Fernando has asked that on what basis Colts, being the champion of the U23 tournament last year, has been placed in the group C, with the runner up team Chilaw Marians in group B.

“Seeing the past seasons, previous year’s winner should have been placed in group A, while the runner-up team should have been in the group B” Shane has written in his letter, asking for a clarification from the Bandula Dissanayake on this serious mistake.

On September 22, Cricket Age had exposed that Bandula Dissanayake, who is also the president of one of the participant team Lankan CC, has been accused of changing the venue for one of the upcoming match (involving Lankan CC), as well as the postponement of the other matches.

“Taking the full advantage of being the tournament committee chairman, Bandula has changed two fixtures of his club Lankan CC. A match against Ragama CC was supposed to be played on September 16. Now, it is rescheduled on September 26. Another Lankan CC match against Air Force was scheduled to be played on September 19. but, it was played only yesterday” top official of one of the participant team had told Cricket Age.

Not only the postponements of the games, Bandula is also unethically changing the venues of the matches as per his wish. As per the tournament committee rules, before the fixtures meeting home side must arrange the ground. However, Lankan CC didn’t provide ground name, saying that they don’t have the venue for their matches. Now, midway through, with the blessings of Bandula, Lankan CC is playing the matches on their preferred grounds. The Lankan CC-Air Force match was slated to be played at Panadura. However, yesterday Lankan CC played the match on Air Force ground.

According to the tournament rule, the venue for the matches can’t be changed, unless the paternal body – Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) – asks for the particular ground for an international match. However, being the chairman of the cricket committee, Bandula has modified the rules according to his Club’s benefits.

“While all other 25 teams have played multiple games in the ongoing tournament, Lankan CC has played only two matches so far, which is very wrong” the top club official had added further.

In the latest development on this matter, it has learned that during the tournament committee meeting on Monday, Bandula has given permission to Lankan CC to shift the matches, by giving the lame excuse that such permission has been given to couple of other clubs as well.

It is noteworthy that Bandula is considered a Punchi Borella loyal. While SLC president Shammi Silva has completely knocked out match fixing firm owner Thilanga Sumathipala from the Maitland Place, his loyals like board secretary incompetent Mohan De Silva, Sujeewa Godaliyadda, Aruna De Silva and Bandula Dissanayake are still remained in the system, as stumbling block.

An ExCo member as well, Bandula Dissanayake goes for everything at SLC. Being a President of a club and chairman of the cricket committee itself is a case of conflict of interest. Few months ago, he had demanded a lump sum amount from the SLC for his so called services in the preparation of Lanka Premier League (LPL), when SLC offered him a monthly payment.



About the author

Sumit Seth