Corruption bowls out Sri Lanka Cricket
Daily Mirror Editorial
Dec 8, 2011

The fact that Sri Lankan Cricket team is going through a horror patch that often leaves them as the beaten side is bad enough. Even though the critics blamed it on various reasons, which were ranging from the so-called conflicts within the team; there are far more acute issues, beyond their unfortunate, losing streak.

According to the COPE report this year, among the 229 institutions that were under the committee’s scrutiny, Sri Lanka Cricket has topped the list of corrupt institutions. The report went on to say that several discrepancies had occurred with regard to the SLC during financial transactions.

It also reveals the height of SLC’S extravagance as the report states that the construction work of Sooriyaweva International Stadium not only exceeded the allocated budget of Rs. 3.3 billion but also ended up devouring a massive Rs. 7.2 billion. While the Committee raises concern about the fast decreasing assets of SLC, there remains a question as to how the institution’s liabilities are heading upwards. In other words, the COPE has created a strong urge to pull down the curtain, behind which every SLC drama had been staged until now.

It was in a scenario like this, a weekend paper reported that Sports Minister has requested for an amount of Rs. one billion from the Treasury as emergency loan for SLC; a requested that was not fully fulfilled, much to the public relief.

It has been the practice since time immemorial to throw hard-earned public money to feed white elephants, petted and guarded by the respective governments. The story of Sri Lanka Cricket is no exception. The result of their downfall is none other than the absolute lack of accountability, which cannot be pardonable at any rate.

The public would have endured the trials and tribulations had their monies been allocated for a worthy cause instead of filling the private pockets of possibly the most incompetent state institution. Ideally, what ought to have been done perhaps, is to make the SLC devoid of corruption before throwing another lorry load of public money down the drain; for this money is urgently needed elsewhere- there are families who go about without eating one square meal a day, and there are those who do not have a shelter above their heads.

At any rate, people are not and should not be held accountable for the shameless and unethical behaviour of certain individuals who do not seem to know their limits. In fact, it is their sheer avarice that dragged the SLC to the rock bottom of misery, which could not even pay the monthly salaries of its employees and the contracted players.

Those who count their smuggled notes in the dark have no right to bark in the daylight at the players who are adamant to play for the Indian Premier League. Those who question their patriotism should first search for their conscience. Cricket needs to be restored to its old glory. For that, the teams that play both in an out of the field should consist of gentlemen; after all, it is the gentlemen’s game and the Sri Lankans are known to have played the game the gentleman’s way.

Source: Daily Mirror - Sri Lanka