Cricketing points to catch
Daily Mirror Editorial
Feb 10, 2011

With Sri Lankan cricket and cricket management stranded mid field in crisis after crisis there was a significant development when the International Cricket Council (ICC) over the weekend expressed concern that the Guyana government had dissolved the Guyana Cricket Board and replaced it with an interim management committee.

So much so the ICC did not even buy the idea after the Guyana authorities had named none other than the most successful Caribbean Cricket captain and ICC’S own Cricket Committee Chairman Clive Lloyd as its interim committee chief.

Perhaps if the Guyana government wanted to set up an interim committee it should have consulted the Sri Lankan government, if we do have any diplomatic relations, because the government here is a past master of the game.

The Lankan authorities who have been dabbling with the interim committee system for more than a decade not only know how to set up interim committees, but how to set up the same interim committee heads as uncontested heads of elected bodies.

In short they have mastered a system of taking the accepted international norms and sending them to the laundry to yield an ultimate result that suits their own bottom-line.

At the other end of the globe where the Lankan cricketers are taking on Australia and India in the Commonwealth tri-series, the Sydney Morning Herald had taken up the plight of the Lankan Cricketers in a big way.

The article claims that at present Sri Lankan Cricket owe its cricketers a whopping US$4.7 million and in every match played in this series each cricketer will receive a guaranteed US$5000 for a game and at the end of this tour the SLC should be ready with an additional US$440,000 to pay their cricketers even if Sri Lanka fail to reach the final.

The problem is not if the cricketers would resort to strike action or not. The problem is if the Lankan cricketers would start to give second priority to their national cause as a direct result of SLC failing to honour its obligations towards its cricketers.

It is evident that some of our national cricketers already have begun to pay more attention in playing for their respective teams in the Indian Premier League rather than heeding the call of national duty.

The IPL pays some of the Lankan cricketers’ mega dollars and players like Lasith Malinga are cricketing icons in Mumbai. Then while representing Sri Lanka even in this Australian series where it precedes the more lucrative IPL would a mega dollar cricketer want to risk injury?

Playing for their country at present is an out of pocket affair where they sweat it out for IOUS from the SLC. v This is food for thought for those occupying the air conditioned cubicles at Maitland Crescent. They are there with the consent of the authorities in power. It is the cricketer who goes out there groveling in the sun moving from one continent to the other and engages in the only sport that Sri Lanka has reached undoubted world standards and bringing the country international laurels.

There is no point in arguing about how SLC went bankrupt and who is responsible. But, what the authorities should hasten to do is to pay - look after these yielding sportsmen and give them their dues because cricket is one redeeming factor for the Lankan people in these troubled times.

Source: Daily Mirror - Sri Lanka