Ali Sabry carry forward someone else’s ‘contract’ to unstable Cricket In Sri Lanka

Written by N Krishnamurthy

Ali Sabry’s official designation is minister of foreign affairs of Sri Lanka. However, since last few months, he has been, at home as well as In overseas, talking only about the Cricket, a game he has never played at ANY level and maybe doesn’t know the difference between Duke and Kukabura ball or difference between associate and affiliated membership. The general perception and sentiment in Sri Lanka’s Cricket circle is thathe is carrying someone else’s contract to unstable the game.

In Sri Lanka, Cricket is not only the most cherished Sport among the public, it’s also been the most favorite game of the politicians – for gaining cheap publicity and using it as a tool for their political revival.

Roshan Ranasinghe, former Sports Minister, did it with perfection. He tried to be the flagbearer, but perished as he brought International bans for Cricket, Rugby and Football.

Now, Ali Sabry is carrying the agenda, which is, clearly of something else’s!

Sabry, who chaired Cabinet Sub-Committee to examine Issues within Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC), has already submitted his report to President Ranil Wickramasinghe, In the first week of January itself. Geoff Allardice, ICC CEO, also visited Sri Lanka and met Wickramasinghe and Sports Minister Harin Fernando to discuss about the potential changes to SLC’s constitution.

So, factually, top three supervisors (only) of SLC – ICC, Wickramasinghe and Harin Fernando – have exchanged their opinions on moving forward the game in Island, In addition to Sabry’s own 40 odd pages report. In this scenario, there is nothing left for Sabry to wake up and speak about the Cricket every other morning!

However, he is continuously doing that!

As he once again spoke about Cricket, this time in Singapore, he cited the example of Board of Control for Cricket In India (BCCI), saying it has only 41 membership in a country of 1.43 billion population, while, with 22 million population, SLC has 147 voting memberships. The fact, he smartly hid, is that BCCI is divided in Zones and state associations, which has hundreds of voting units. In Sri Lanka also, Sports Minister Harin Fernando, who implemented historical Anti Corruption Sports Laws in his first tenure, has already Initiated the task to bring down voting memberships to 60. The fact Sabry hid is that in India, no politician ever talk about the Cricket, even as BCCI is the richest board in the World. Even when India won the T20 World Cup just recently, country’s Sports Minister was seen nowhere, forgot about the other ministers. Even the Prime Minister Narendra Modi didn’t touch the trophy, In his respect to World Cup winners.

The fact he didn’t tell is that In Sri Lanka, some politicians eagerly awaits for their team to lose in ICC events, so they can start their agendas – after Sri Lanka’s 50 Over World Cup exit in November last year, SLC was sacked by then Sports Minister Roshan Ranasinghe, after poor show in recently concluded T20 World Cup, again a political drama has unfolded.

Sabry also hid that Pakistan and New Zealand were also knocked out in the group stage, but there was no political protest in these countries. Sabry also forgot, to his convenience, that In Pakistan, the memberships of the Cricket Board has approved Prime Minister as a patron! In Sri Lanka, the Idea is to put game’s stakeholders and memberships aside and bring lawyers, accountants to run the game! Finally, he also don’t mention that his own chaired Cabinet Sub-Committee itself was a political appointment, which ICC never allows and leads to bans!

Then, first and foremost, Sabry needs to bring the reforms to his own parliament, which has 225 MPs, opposite to India’s 543, being the world’s largest democratic country. With this comparison, his own parliament membership must be brought down to 10-15.

Ideally, Sabry, Instead of overtalking, must wait – until President Wickramasinghe Implements the recommendations based on his own report, Sports Minister Harin Fernando brings down the voting memberships to 60 and ICC comprehensively reviews the Issues at SLC, if there is any!

Till then, his continues talking makes no sense! He can better use this time to prepare himself for contesting the forthcoming election, Instead of walking in the parliament from the backdoor through the national list, which itself is a big joke.

About the author

N Krishnamurthy