Aravinda De Silva, a politically appointed chairman of so called technical advisory committee to Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC), has backed Tom Moody’s appointment as cricket director, while dismissing his 1996 world cup winning captain Arjuna Ranatunga’s opinion that the board opts for garbage foreigner coaches and ignore local talent.
Sri Lanka won the World Cup once – in 1996 — and were runners-up to Australia and India in 2007 and 2011 respectively. In the most recent tournament in 2019, they did not make it out of the group stages.
“We spend huge amounts to import garbage coaches,” Ranatunga said at Silver jubilee of the 1996 World Cup triumph in the presence of Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa on March 17, adding that the foreign imports were partly responsible for the low ranking of the national team in all formats of the game.
“There is good (coaching) talent in the country, but they are going abroad because there is no recognition for them at home” the Iconic captain had said.
Aravinda, however, dismissed Arjuna’s thoughtful opinion.
“My captain (Arjuna Ranatunga) also feels the same. But for me there is one thing. Even if you play a hundred Test matches, score 15,000 runs, it is a different ball game altogether” Aravinda said Sunday Observer.
“You got to start from scratch again. Take a look at our school coaches. Tom’s (Moody) job will be to uplift the standard and educate our (school) coaches so we don’t have to look overseas for coaches,” he added.
It’s visible Aravinda, who played some of the greatest innings of world cup history, was playing for Moody this time around!
Moody, last month, joined a heavy list of overseas nationals as the Director of Cricket that makes him available for consultation for 300 days over a three-year period for a payment of Rs.120 million, the highest amount ever paid to a foreign expert in Sri Lanka cricket history!
Aravinda, though, seems in awe of Moody. He was also in the center stage of a drama on March 25, when Moody was introduced as cricket director at Taj Samudra. It was an attempt to fool cricket fans. Knowing the fact that Moody would soon be in India to mint the IPL money, he was strategically introduced to hoodwink public showing that he is committed to Sri Lanka cricket. Over the years, England team always play a series in Sri Lanka, before an Indian tour. By doing so, they use Sri Lanka as preparation platform before going for the real test. Moody stayed in the Sri Lanka for two weeks with the same mentality. He completed the formality of being Sri Lanka cricket director and then left for India along with Sanga for the IPL duty! Every year, the same pattern will be followed. Before IPL every year, Moody will arrive in Sri Lanka, will do formality, Will collect his fee and will fly India for his IPL commitment.
For this year, Moody is already in India, with Sunrisers Hyderabad. Next three months, he will be trying to win the IPL trophy for his franchise. In between, to fool Sri Lanka public, he will continue to tweet praising stuffs about Sri Lanka cricket.
It’s also a joke that Aravinda backs a foreigner to uplift country’s domestic cricket, while Kumar Sangakkara, member of his own technical advisory committee, opts for the cricket director position of IPL franchise Rajasthan Royals. Instead of backing Moody, Aravinda should have asked Sangakkara that when he can become IPL franchise cricket director, why can’t he accept the same position for his motherland? When Sangakkara can be IPL team director, MCC chairman, why can’t he be Sri Lanka cricket director, especially when now he sits in the left of country’s Sports Minister? Why Sri Lanka need a foreigner to change the domestic cricket, when Sri Lanka is blessed with dozens of greatest players of all time?
Moreover, Aravinda’s cricket decisions after his retirement have always been suspicious and questionable. He always gives the impression that he is favoring certain individuals. Once, he drafted Lahiru Thirimanne in a T20 World Cup squad. He also brought Simon Willis at Khetterama, only because he is a good DRIVER. His legendary captain Arjuna became SLC chairman, became politician, but when it comes to cricket, he always speaks truth. For him, the betterment of Sri Lanka cricket is the most important thing. Sadly same can’t be said about Aravinda!
This time also, he fulfilled the agendas of some former players, who shares good rapport with Tom Moody (Willis will also be brought at same time).