Sri Lanka, Celebrate the LPL!

Written by N Krishnamurthy

Like any other form of live action in this Cornoa time, LPL also must be celebrated, without focusing on negative points. 

The much talked about Lanka Premier League (LPL), starting later this week, is all set to mesmerize cricket fans! Shammi Silva, the president of Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) is on the verge of creating history, by organizing the LPL, in this challenging times. During his multiple tenure at Maitland Place, Sri Lanka Cricket self-proclaimed Messiah Thilanga Sumathipala planned this league multiple times, but failed miserably.  Jayantha Dharmadasa (another so called stalwart) finished his SLC career (currently, he is on the grace period), but could never even plan something like this!  Shammi Silva, in his first stint itself as SLC president, is on the brink of successfully conducting Sri Lanks’s first ever T20 league, with the participant of global superstars in the format!

LPL, originally, was Sumathipala’s brainchild! He tried to launch it in 2012 itself. However, intentions were not right, which were exposed by the International Cricket Council (ICC) many years later, by clearing the path for a brave Sports Minister Harin Fernando to ban him for life, based on his match fixing saga!

Then, there were some other issues as well – internal and external both. Internally, Sumathipala’s administration was controlled by his loyals like Sujeewa Godaliyadda, Crysantha Kapuwatha! They were the gods of Maitland Place, but their priorities were always wrong. Manipulation was always on the top of their agendas. Thus, LPL, or something like this, could never take off!

Externally, Sumathipala was too much  one sided – politically also. Loyal to one party, he was too arrogant, too difficult to handle for other party’s decision makers! His tussle with UNP Sports Minister Harin Fernando was the testimony of this!

With all these, LPL, or something like this, could never happen!

Shammi Silva, on the other hand, don’t carry this sort of baggage!

Internally, he holds the complete control within Maitland Place. There are no multiple bosses now, unlike Sumathipala era. Punchi Borella loyals like Godaliyadda and Kapuwatha have been kept on their original places now! Yes, Dharmadasa is there. But, his prioritizes are different – to look after Shibly and other loyals financial interests, which can be fulfilled through the Maitland Place! They are looting SLC big time, but it doesn’t harm the spirit.

Externally, Shammi Silva is a complete ‘non-political’. That’s why, he was close friend of Harin Fernando and shares good rapport with Namal Rajapaksa also.

In Sri Lanka, if you wants to organize something like LPL, you need political backing! Shammi Silva has that backing!

That’s why, Sri Lanka cricket fans are just one week away from witnessing LPL. Their own T20 league! In an era, where even Afghanistan and Bangladesh have established their own leagues, it was haunting SLC, being the paternal cricket body of two World Cups winning nation! Now, they are about to fulfill the dream!

That too, in a year, when the entire universe is reeling under the threat of an invisible virus. No government, no nation, no territory is unaffected by this newest threat to humanity! Forget Sport, even the life is at stake. Forget organisations, even governments are functioning from the home!

In this challenging times, SLC has dared to conduct the LPL.

That’s why, it must be celebrated! Shammi Silva is your enemy? Fine! Fight against him. Ravin Wickramarathne is your enemy? Fine! Destroy him. It’s an open war field. So, nothing wrong in dethrone attempts!

But, certainly, it’s not the time to destroy Sri Lanka cricket. Shammi Silva won’t be there tomorrow! Ravin Wickramarathne won’t be there tomorrow. K. Mathivanan won’t be there tomorrow! Dharmadasa won’t be there tomorrow either (he is already on grace period). But, Sri Lanka cricket will always be there!

So, don’t try to harm Sri Lanka cricket. Don’t try to harm LPL! If it fails, seat at your balcony and have a big laugh. But, for now, don’t dial people to tell them that it’s not happening! If world cricket needed IPL, it needs LPL also. It actually need any other league, even if it comes from Nepal or Bhutan! Because, it will bring happiness in this depressing time!

So, for a change, put all your differences, grudges, frustration aside and just celebrate the LPL!


About the author

N Krishnamurthy