Amid the ongoing nationwide uproar following Sri Lanka’s defeat against England, Sports Minister Namal Rajapaksa Wednesday stated that he personally does not see that appointing an Interim Committee as an option to run the Cricket Board in the country, as itself means the Minister is interfering with the board.
As Dinesh Chandimal led side generously gifted second Galle test to visiting England and surrendered the series 2-0, fans are left stunned! Demands of resignations are overflowing from everywhere and as a result Chairman of selectors Asantha De Mel was already removed. Experts and former administrators are on the opinion that Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) vice president International cricket Jayantha Dharmadasa also must take the responsibility of this pathetic brand of cricket by the national team and resign! Moreover, the local media has started criticizing Namal also, which is a new experience for the high profile minister.
However, during a Development Committee meeting in Matara yesterday, he has once again made his stance clear on the possibility of an Interim Committee at Maitalnd Place.
“They say that sports should not be politicized, and then again state an Interim Committee should be appointed. Appointing an Interim Committee itself means the Minister is interfering with SLC. Personally, I don’t see appointing Interim Committees as an option” said Rajapaksa.
“We were World Champion in 1996. After the Government changed in 2015 sports was politicized and that is the cause for the present poor state of sports. But we can assure you we will develop sports through a proper long-term plan to once again make Sri Lanka’s cricket team World Champions,” said minister.
Namal has already taken following long term decisions, after a meeting with SLC officials and National Sports Council chairman Mahela Jayawardene to discuss the current status of Cricket in Sri Lanka.
- Appoint a new Cricket selection committee
- Play competitive domestic and provincial cricket tournaments
- Priority will be given for discipline and fitness of players
- Players contracts will be based on performance
- Director and mentor will be appointed to assist the Coach
“We were World Champion in 1996. After the Government changed in 2015 sports was politicized and that is the cause for the present poor state of sports. But we can assure you we will develop sports through a proper long-term plan to once again make Sri Lanka’s cricket team World Champions,” he added.
Interestingly, this is not the first time when Namal has opined against the Interim Committee. In September last year also, during an event in Colombo he had made an interesting observation on the impact of interim committees in the Sri Lanka cricket!
“In Sri Lanka cricket, the interim committees always spends all the board money. It has always been a trend, that whenever there is any Television right deal, the interim committee comes to the power. They spends the money and disappears. Then elected bodies comes again with a huge task to bring things back on track” Namal had said during the event.
Those, who follows Sri Lanka cricket, are familiar with the word ‘Interim committees’. At Maitland Place, Interim committees are quite frequent. The general perception is that Interim committees comes to rescue Sri Lanka cricket! Those, who have been a part of countless interim committees, proudly claims that they have always cleaned up the corruption in Sri Lanka cricket, committed by the elected bodies!
However, while great Sidath Wettimuny, one of the most genuine and well respected former Sri Lanka player, has always tried his best to uplift the game in the Island as the head of the committee, due to some of the its members other interests, it could never made a lasting impact, in moving forward tiny nation’s most cherished sport. An Interim committee member in particularly, who has become a so called social messiah now, was the biggest stumbling block in the good intentions of the Interim committees in past.