Only because the newly appointed technical advisory committee comprise of some legendary former players, it’s decisions must not be followed or praised blindly. Over the years, Dharmadasa’s, Thilanga’s and Shammi’s administrations have always been questioned after their every move. The same must be applied on technical advisory committee also, headed by Aravinda de Silva. Their decisions also should be scrutinized. Accordingly, it’s a matter of debate whether Tom Moody’s proposed appointment as cricket director will actually benefit Sri Lanka? Or it’s just a ploy to bring some former players favorites in the system?
Strategically labeled as Sri Lanka’s most successful cricket coach, Tom Moody is set to return to Colombo for a new stint as Director of Cricket. The newly created position has been suggested to Sri Lanka Cricket by the Cricket Committee headed by Aravinda de Silva and comprising some of the legends of the game – Roshan Mahanama, Muttiah Muralitharan and Kumar Sangakkara.
As per the proposal, all cricket related matters of Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) will come under the Director of Cricket including coaching, domestic tournaments, development squads, age groups and minute details like minimum fitness standards for centrally contracted players. The Cricket Director will be above Head Coach Mickey Arthur and Head of Coaching Jerome Jayarathne, as he will report directly to the Cricket Committee.
On papers, it looks a good proposal! However, there are some burning questions, that should be answered.
First and foremost, aren’t some of these responsibilities comes under present head coach Micky Arthur? As a head coach or even for International Cricket, Moody has vast experience. But being a foreigner, can he really fix domestic cricket? Blessed with some of the greatest players of world cricket, isn’t there anyone in Sri Lanka to be appointed as team director? And if Moody will be above Micky Arthur, then won’t it create confusion within the setup? And, won’t it prompt Micky to leave the setup? Or exactly this is the plan of cricket committee to get rid of Micky?
Interestingly, just few days ago, similar sort of incident took place at Indian Premier League franchise Rajasthan Royals, coincidentally involving Sangakkara. He was recently appointed as cricket director of the franchise, ahead of 2021 edition. Then, within few weeks, Rajasthan Royals made it clear that the ‘decision maker’ in the restructured coaching set-up will be Sangakkara. However, soon franchise head coach Andew McDonald parted ways with Rajasthan Royals! Cricket Age sources at franchise confirmed that McDonald was not comfortable with Sangakkara’s placing above him.
“If you pay 30,000$ for a head coach, why appoint someone to overlook him? Any decent head coach would resign in this scenario” an insider at franchise told Cricket Age.
Also, if Moody comes as cricket director to oversee above mentioned responsibilities, then what will be the role of SLC High Performance Manager Jerome Jayaratne and Tim Maccasil, as both are assigned for the similar sort of roles?
Moody’s rapport with those former players, who sits in the committee, also raises questions. Moody is currently the head coach of another IPL franchise Sunrisers Hyderabad, where Muralitharan occupy spin bowling coach post. Moody’s rapport with Mahela Jayawardene and Sangakkara is also an open secret. So, it should not be a case of looking after favorites benefits, instead of Sri Lanka cricket benefits! Technical advisory committee has been appointed to move Sri Lanka cricket forward! However, the committee should not focus on bringing Moody, Trevor Bayliss, Charlie Austin, Simon Willis in the setup. If Sri Lanka cricket has to be changed, it has to be done by former players, administrators and decision makers, with collective efforts. Any Moody, Austin or Willis is not going to deliver this.
The same can be said about the national team selections also. Whatever said and done, even after being president of SLC, Shammi Silva never tried to bring his club players Ashan Priyanjan, Lahiru Madushanka into the national team. Likewise, technical advisory committee members also should not be used as a tool by Interested parties to bring their favorite players, like – Ashen Bandara (only because he has joined SSC now), Ramesh Mendis (only because an Interim Committee flag bearer is his manager) – through strategically placed SSC people into the selection committee.
Then, former players also need to get actively involved, instead of occupying merely flag bearers, advisory positions. The truth of Sri Lanka cricket is that Sangakkara opts for team director role of IPL Franchise for himself and few days later, sitting in technical advisory committee, he recommends Tom Moody for the same post for his own country!
And most importantly, technical advisory committee needs to work in tandem with SLC! In last few weeks, Jayantha Dharmadasa, vice president International cricket, was completely clueless and unaware about Tom Moody, Chaminda Vaas episodes! In this scenario, it’s obvious that instead of doing good for the game, Aravinda De Silva led committee will be ended up creating further complications within the system!