December 26, 2012

Memo to Mahela

Andrew Hughes
Mahela Jayawardene talks to the media before his team left for Australia, Colombo, December 2, 2012
Jayawardene: spilling the beans (and other veggies perhaps)  © Manoj Ridimahaliyadda
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Today I want to talk to you about leaks.

About time, you might think. Ghastly vegetables that think they're onions but turn out to be mostly leaf. When you manage to hack off enough of the greenery to get them into a cookable state, you find that after a little light braising they take on the texture and taste of warmed-up slivers of recently pasted wallpaper.

Sadly, those of you who didn't read too closely will be disappointed. This blog will not be a savage and frankly long-overdue indictment of this particularly noxious bit of green-grocery. Vegetable satire is beyond my remit.

No, I want to talk about leaks. Literal leaks are bad enough. Many a nuclear-reactor worker has spent a frustrating night searching for the source of that persistent dripping sound. But figurative leaks are even worse. In the top ten of things a chap ought not to do if he wishes to be considered sound, leaking secret stuff to ne'er do wells ranks at No. 3, just behind whistling loudly on buses and getting a Wayne Rooney tattoo.

Why is leaking universally regarded as naughty? Because it violates the code of brotherhood. No one talks about Fight Club. What happens on the ECB annual act-finding mission to Tahiti stays on the ECB annual fact-finding mission to Tahiti. That's why so many cricket boards employ Twitter police, and make sure their players' central contracts include an "if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all" clause.

So naturally, Sri Lanka Cricket is not happy that soon-to-be-once-again-former-captain Mahela has criticised them via the letters pages of the Daily Mirror. We can expect the legal wrath of SLC to descend upon him like a ton of bricks with a couple of hippos on top.

And what was Mahela's problem anyway? He claims that a confidential request he submitted to SLC was leaked to the Daily Mirror on the grounds that:

a) He handed a request marked "confidential" to the SLC b) That request was subsequently published in the Daily Mirror

Such wild accusations frankly just make him look silly. He can't prove that SLC leaked it, and anyway, even if they did leak it (which they didn't) that would be completely different to what Mahela did by talking about the leak (which didn't happen anyway).

If one player is allowed to get away with saying what he thinks about SLC, then others will do the same, and before long the Sri Lankan public might begin to form the impression that their board is in some way two teacups short of a tea set. Such a loss of confidence in their cricket administrators could have a devastating effect on the morale of the nation. So, Mahela, for the good of Sri Lanka, please keep your opinions to yourself.

Andrew Hughes is a writer currently based in England

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Keywords: Administration

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Posted by Riyas on (January 9, 2013, 14:58 GMT)

Nice one Andrew now youve put me off leaks for the rest of my life! i emant leeks

Posted by Si on (December 29, 2012, 3:51 GMT)

Fair call Andrew, it's high time the people who play the game, create the income and excite small children into carrying their names on their shirts are told to shut up and be grateful for whatever length career the admin decides. Surely history should be taught to junior cricketers at the same time as the cover drive. In the '30's Bradman was sanctioned by the admin for commenting in the dailies and finally learned the error of his ways when he, as an administrator, sanctioned players in the 60's-70's. No doubt Mahela and Brett Lee will make fine administrators after having learned their recent valuable lessons. As we know, it's not for players with inside knowledge to comment about admin hypocrisy and ineptitude, especially when they don't have admin accredtations which prove their grasp of spin and deniability.

Posted by vidyani on (December 27, 2012, 8:22 GMT)

Good on, Mahela & Sanga all about "IPL" & "Money" They should retire and let young talent take over sri lankan cricket.

Posted by Emsworth on (December 26, 2012, 22:04 GMT)

Well said about Jayawardenes's silliness. Much ado about nothing...A storm in a teacup etc, etc. Disagree about taking a shot at lovely leeks though. Magnificent veg really...

Posted by Randy on (December 26, 2012, 17:07 GMT)

Seems like you started trying too hard to write this "article", then just gave up in the middle.

Posted by Swaminathan R on (December 26, 2012, 8:05 GMT)

Soon-to be-once-again-former captain - apt description of Mahela. Mahela has tried to portray a picture of a crusader for good causes of ...whom? Himself.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Andrew Hughes
Andrew Hughes is a writer and avid cricket watcher who has always retained a healthy suspicion of professional sportsmen, and like any right-thinking person rates Neville Cardus more highly than Don Bradman. His latest book is available here and here @hughandrews73

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