Pathum Nissanka, Dilshan Munaweera LPL Absence Raises Questions

Written by Sumit Seth

Shammi Silva led Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) Impressed everyone with star-studded Lanka Premier League (LPL) Auction on Monday. Even though the tournament is still unlikely to be played this year, largely due to Covid-19 pandemic, the SLC at least shown the intent and capability to launch a T20 league, with some of the biggest shorter format players like Chris Gayle, Shahid Afridi.

Absence of some of the most promising young players from the LPL Auction, though, has raised several questions.

As per the SLC claims, 258 local players will be participating in the LPL, which is scheduled to begin on November 21.

However, the young batting prodigies like Pathum Nissanka, Lasith Croospule and experience T20 players like Dilshan Munaweera couldn’t find a place in any of the five teams.

Pathum Nissanka, particularly, is regarded as one of the finest young batting talent in the country. With a First Class average of more than 65, he has become a run machine in domestic cricket in last few years. However, while politically appointed Chief selector Asantha De Mel and his committee has already ruined his career by not picking him for the national side at his pick, now the concerned authorities (SLC claims that selectors are not involved in preparing LPL players draft) out from the LPL also, even though his T20 strike rate is close to 130.

Lasith Croospule has emerged as another domestic run machine in last two years. However, Asantha and his gang are determined to pick only those youngsters, who have political backing, like former Sri Lanka player Hashan Tillakratne’s sons. Now, these young players are suddenly not good enough to play in the local T20 league also.

Dilshan Munaweera, meanwhile, is considered as one of the finest t20 top order batsman, not only in Sri Lanka, but around the world. A hard-hitting batsman, he has regularly played in high-profile T20 leagues like BPL, BBL, CPL. In his own country’s LPL, he couldn’t find a place!

So, who’s responsible for this perfect mess? When Cricket Age inquired, it learnt that while SLC had no interference or say in the players auction, this is the fault of those incompetent auctioneers, local coaches and SLC officials (incompetent CEO Ashely De Silva was also there), who couldn’t highlight their own country’s players to franchises!

For LPL Auction, Hashan Tillakratne (a mandatory now, in everything related to Sri Lanka cricket), his assistant Sachith Pathirana (because his father is Janaka) and Thilana Kandamby (forcefully recommended by Sri Lanka cricket newest Messiah Mahela Jayawardene, who is the chairman of national Sports Council now).

After seeing these names itself, one can assume that the local players wouldn’t be presented properly.

Hashan Tillakratne was that much biased as U19 coach, that he single handedly ruined Sri Lanka’s world cup campaign! Kandamby has brought Sinhalese Sports Club to the bottom of the domestic cricket! His only quality is that Mahela backs him (reasons are unknown).

Top of that, the local players draft was prepared by the confidential secretary of a top SLC official, who is famous for other things!

With this type of setup, it was not surprising that the players like Pathum Nissanka, Chamika Karunaratne, Lasith Croospule were snubbed, while an unknown allrounder named Hemesh was remotely picked, only because his father is Former Sri Lanka fast bowler and coach Champika Ramanayake!

The addition of Bollywood glamour ( Salman Khan – whose film career has been finished good 6 years ago and his brothers are good for nothing) Will surely raise the tempo of the LPL. However, giving chances to young deserving players will benefit Sri Lanka cricket in upcoming years! The authorities needs to realize this as well!

About the author

Sumit Seth