England T20 Series Debacle: ‘Patience’ is the Key For rebuilding Sri Lanka!

Written by N Krishnamurthy

Yesterday, Sri Lanka suffered yet another series defeat, a T20I assignment, this time against mighty England! However, it’s not the time to give knee jerk reactions, question or shout for the changes. Instead, it’s time to back those decision making authorities, who are carrying a vision to uplift Sri Lanka Cricket. The team were getting thrashed before their involvement in the game as well. Now, the difference is that they have taken some decisive steps in moving forward.

In last few months, while on field results remained the same, Sri Lanka cricket’s decision makers showed an urgency to overhaul the system. Appointment of the Tom Moody as Cricket Director was the first major decision in moving forward. Cricket Age understands that the idea behind bringing Moody for the post was to deal with ‘non performing seniors’ of the team. While senior players takes mentor roles in other teams around the globe, in Sri Lanka most of the time they becomes manipulators! So much so that dealing with them becomes rather impossible for local coaches, largely due to the internal politics and influence strategies. But for Moody, it turned out rather easy task, being a foreigner, well reputed coach. Through Moody, Sri Lanka easily eliminated non performing seniors and instilled young leadership (Kusal Perera and Kusal Mendis) and introduced plethora of new players (Pathum Nishanka, Ashen Bandara, Charith Asalanka, Chamika Karunaratne).

Handling of the fitness issue was also commendable! Over the years, certain Sri Lanka cricketers had become notorious for manipulating fitness reports through physios. Recently, there was an internal inquiry also, for the same. Legendary Aravinda de Silva led advisory committee, Chief Selector Pramodaya Wickramasinghe and his colleagues stopped this manipulation by applying 2km Fitness test and skin fold criteria. After this, those, who couldn’t cope with the standard criteria, we’re left with only two options: to retire prematurely or question the system to hide their own weaknesses!

Then came the annual contract controversy. Those non performers, who couldn’t stop Sri Lanka from slipping to 8th, 9th and 10th in ICC Rankings, hijacked the dispute to fulfill their own agenda. However, an unshaken Aravinda de Silva stood firm and forced players to prioritize country over their bank balance!

All these decisions and steps proves that Sri Lanka is on the right path! All it needs is to remain patient and allow and back Sports Council (Mahela Jayawardene), Advisory Committee (Aravinda de Silva) and Sri Lanka Cricket (Shammi Silva) in their efforts in identifying the loopholes and repairing them, one by one! Indeed, salaries of Moody and Micky Arthur are debatable. But, this questioning should be done, once they finishes their term. Then only it should be analysed by comparing with their contribution in moving forward Sri Lanka Cricket. If it will be done right now, it will only hamper the progress map, which has been put on place!

“Cricket committee was set up only in March this year. We need time to change all this. No one has a magic wand. We still haven’t started domestic cricket structure due to the global pandemic. Those who questions us, need to understand that we are changing something which was there for 15-20 years” a key decision maker told Cricket Age.

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N Krishnamurthy