During Cricket Age exclusive Investigation among prominent membership clubs of the Island, it emerged that a former legend, who labels himself as a shrewd strategist, himself messed up entire Lanka Premier League (LPL) Player Draft process through his illogical suggestions!
In a bizzare LPL draft, which took place on November 9, some high profile national players like Angelo Mathews, Kusal Perera, Dhananjaya De Silva, Akila Dhananjaya, Dinesh Chandimal were not picked by any of the five franchise. More Interestingly, exept Mathews, all these other players were part of the ongoing T20 World Cup Squad. In addition, other big names like Oshada Fernando, Minod Bhanuka, Praveen Jayawickrama, Kasun Rajitha were also gone unsold.
The snub of those high profile players created a stir among Sri Lanka Cricket fans. The Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) also reacted immediately and Yesterday a decision was taken by the Board hierarchy to include said high profile cricketers!
Amid new developments, Cricket Age inquired about the cause of the mess up and learnt that a former legendary player himself is responsible for this chaos!
It learnt that, during last year’s highly successful LPL, all 26 membership clubs were instructed by the SLC to nominate only 2 players each. In addition, contracted domestic players were also included in the draft. Thus, in the inaugural edition, there were approximately only 120 Sri Lanka players drafted into the auction.
This year, However, the said former legend, unnecessarily and out of nowhere, suggested SLC to instruct clubs for nominating 20 players each!
“Obviously, as each club nominated 20 players, it became like an open bid at the auction. So, in comparison of 120 in previous edition, this time around, the franchises had approximately 900 players to pick from” president of a premier domestic club told Cricket Age.
Though, the story just doesn’t end here! After himself pushing membership clubs to nominate 20 cricketers, now, when franchises have picked players as per their requirement and suitability, the legend is crying for the transparency!
“Like IPL or any other franchise tournament across the globe, respective cricket boards don’t get involved or interfere in the auction or thereafter. When Kolkata Night Riders (KKR) removed Indian cricketer Dinesh Karthik from the captaincy midway through and appointed a foreigner Eoin Morgan in his place, the BCCI didn’t interfere. Simply, because it was KKR’s internal matter. Same applies on SLC” a Sri Lanka Cricket expert told Cricket Age.
In India, just recently Venkatesh Iyer, Harshal Patel and Avesh Khan were named in 16-member T20 squad, that will take on New Zealand in a three match series on the back of impressive IPL performances. Meanwhile, big player like Hardik Pandya was dropped altogether, simply because he failed miserably in the T20 World Cup.
In Sri Lanka too, rising stars like Charith Asalanka, Chamika Karunaratne, Dushmantha Chameera were rewarded big time in the LPL draft, following their impressive showing in ICC showpiece.
However, here, instead of welcoming the due recognization of young performers, questions are being raised over non inclusion of tried and tested players like Angelo Mathews, Kusal Perera, Dinesh Chandimal and Akila Dhananjaya.
When Cricket Age inquired, it learnt that despite the fact that Kusal Perera was carrying an injury, he was selected in world cup squad only because of the coaches recommendations. Eventually, he failed miserably even after being a senior player and his two drop catches cost Sri Lanka a potential semi final birth!
Mathews, meanwhile, has not played competitive cricket for months!
As far as Chandimal and Akila Dhananjaya are concerned, everyone in Sri Lanka knows why they were forcefully drafted in a world cup squad!
“Obviously, franchises knew these facts of Mathews, Perera, Chandimal and Akila. So, it was entirely upto them whether to pick them or not” the cricket expert added.