January 26, 2012

No light at the end of Sri Lanka's tunnel

Hilal Suhaib
As long as the country's cricket is in the hands of politicians and the self-serving, there is little hope for the team
57

In 2009, an ODI series loss against India at home was sufficient cause for the Sri Lankan selectors to entertain the idea of a change in captaincy. Just days after the defeat, Tillakaratne Dilshan was named captain for Sri Lanka's maiden Twenty20 international on home soil. Mahela Jayawardene, who up until that point had been Sri Lanka's captain in all formats, found himself sidelined. Shortly after, Jayawardene announced he was stepping down as captain. Two years and two captains later, Sri Lanka have been forced to go back to Jayawardene, hoping that he can somehow change the fortunes of a team that is facing an unprecedented decline.

Dilshan, fans and pundits argue, was never captaincy material. But the selectors had few other options, when Kumar Sangakkara unexpectedly resigned at the end of the World Cup last year. In fact, during the World Cup, Jayawardene served as Sangakkara's deputy, before tendering his resignation once again.

While there isn't a better candidate now than the 34-year-old Jayawardene, one wonders who will lead Sri Lanka come the next World Cup. In all likelihood, barring injuries, vice-captain Angelo Mathews, 24, is the likely candidate. The question then begs to be asked: when should he be given the reins? The need to groom a captain for the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand will be foremost in the minds of the new selectors.

In the wake of successive series defeats in ODIs and Tests, the shake-up was inevitable. The sports minister, Mahindananda Aluthgamage, who has taken a keen interest in cricket, said that it was the "responsibility of the Sri Lankan government and the sports ministry" to enforce "stern and appropriate action" in order to make Sri Lanka "the number one team in the world". Sacking Australian coach Geoff Marsh when he was just three months into his two-year term is a part of that plan. Perhaps his replacement, Graham Ford of South Africa, was unaware that by accepting Sri Lanka's offer to replace Marsh, he would become their fourth coach in 12 months.

Scattered among the many lows of late, were moments of brilliance in trying circumstances, which offer proof of what the Sri Lankans are capable of. But events beyond their control, including being unpaid for almost a year, have hindered them. The way forward is murky. Ford and Jayawardene will have to contend with many of the issues their predecessors faced - inconsistent, politically motivated, and at times even bizarre, selections, interference from the ministry of sport, and catastrophic administrative blunders orchestrated by unqualified government henchmen. Unless cricket administration in Sri Lanka is completely rid of government control and interference, and rid of administrators who have been riding the gravy train for far too long, Sri Lanka will continue to be a team on the decline.

The way forward is murky. Ford and Jayawardene will have to contend with many of the issues their predecessors faced - inconsistent, politically motivated, and at times even bizarre, selections, interference from the ministry of sport, and catastrophic administrative blunders orchestrated by unqualified government henchmen

"Good teams like Australia usually have got strong or good management backing the team up. That's an area in which we can improve here," were Trevor Bayliss' parting words. The former coach said that he was "amazed how well the players do, with all the distractions put in front of them". The distractions, though, appear to have finally taken their toll; the World Cup finalists have lost four consecutive Test and ODI series since Bayliss' departure. The administrators, and the politicians who back them, bear much of the responsibility.

In an attempt to arrest the slide, the selection panel headed by the multi-skilled Duleep Mendis, who had been employed by the board in various positions for over a decade, and is rumoured to be making a return as team manager, was replaced by the sports minister last week with a new panel. Ashantha de Mel, who was sacked in 2010 amid allegations of political bias and favouritism, was reappointed as chief selector by the sports ministry. The move prompted an outcry from journalists of several independent English dailies on the island.

During his previous tenure de Mel was the only selector to travel overseas with the team on every tour, but was seldom spotted observing upcoming talent at domestic games. The former fast bowler has also served on one of Sri Lanka's many interim committees in the past, and was employed at one time by the government as the chairman of the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation, where he was removed after the country's supreme court faulted him for entering into "iniquitous" contracts.

Similarly, at the recent cricket board elections, two men with ties to the government, Upali Dharmadasa and Nishantha Ranatunga, were elected uncontested for the post of president and secretary. Ranatunga was the secretary of the dissolved interim committee that is responsible for the dire financial state the board finds itself in today. He, like de Mel, has also been employed by the state in the past, serving as the director general of a state-owned television station.

Although a new coach and captain have been appointed, the board is still firmly in the hands of men with poor track records, seemingly positioned there by politicians. Despite the recent overhaul, there appears to be no end in sight for Sri Lanka's troubles.

Hilal Suhaib is the founder and editor of Island Cricket

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • playitstraight on January 29, 2012, 0:55 GMT

    Now that the selectors, coach, and captain have been duly sacked, Sri Lanka can move forward positively. Hopefully the selectors make good decisions, unlike the ones Duleep Mendis made.

  • on January 28, 2012, 16:47 GMT

    if it is any other player will be drop from the tour but it is mahela the captain. no government influence.Angelo the vp not a alrounder now ,with bat what he doing Perera has done more vp.When Dilshan getting runs ,minster wants change .after all we won last two games with 300 runs to get.three four months not enough to get know team couch.if we are not careful what happened to India will happen to SL.

  • on January 28, 2012, 6:01 GMT

    What a pathetic situation. Lets get it right. More than the players & the coach, will this be a the biggest eye opener to SRI LANKA CRICKET. If SL Cricket's authorities has got shaken up with current decline, then we are in the right track for WINNING. If not, take my word, we will keep hearing cash traps, mismanagements, political interferences, sackings & resignations. All the best to JUSTICE.

  • on January 28, 2012, 4:29 GMT

    Good stuff Hilal! I certainly agree with this"Although a new coach and captain have been appointed, the board is still firmly in the hands of men with poor track records, seemingly positioned there by politicians. Despite the recent overhaul, there appears to be no end in sight for Sri Lanka's troubles."

  • Malij on January 28, 2012, 4:25 GMT

    I do not agree with people saying that Mahela and Sanga didn't help Dilshan. If that is the case, even Dilshan didn't help himself. Out of the two, Sanga had scored couple of centuries during last couple of months. But Mahela was out of form. This can happen to any player. It is up to the Captain to get the moral support of the players. And I do not believe that cricketers can under perform for ever. The entire cricket team didn't perform well during last couple of months. This could be attributed to several factors. The major factor was blatant political meddling. Too much cowboy cricket and cricketers getting burnt out (eg. T 20 - a former minister getting involved in signing players for T 20), players not getting paid for several months( SL Cricket bankrupt dancing to politicians tune), appointing inept men as selectors (No one was groomed to take over after Sanga,), politicians getting involved in selection matters (Jayasuriya playing till 40, dropping of Samaraweera) ......

  • on January 28, 2012, 2:42 GMT

    Pretty good article. I think our administration is trying to out do the Pak cricket administrators.Sympathies to Geoff Marsh.Hilal only thing is I dont think anybody is going to make any use of your well constructed article.@taniap sorry to say it's too little too late. Nobody in the board has any clue of what they are doing.Starting with school cricket our structures have crumbled beyond rrepair.We solely rely on talent. The day the talent well dries up it would be dooms day, and cricket would be just part of our history.

  • Rooboy on January 28, 2012, 2:26 GMT

    They'll be ok once they find a new baseball pitcher to replace the one they had

  • Philip_Gnana on January 27, 2012, 14:05 GMT

    SL Cricket after the World Cup win 1996, was never ever going to be The Cricket that we all know of. Once persons with vested interests got themselves into the boardroom via the politicians , seeds of political and monetarism were sown deep. The situation that we see the SLC in at the moment is now there for everyone to see. The seeds sown have now all come to fruition and is spread like a Cedar tree. The job for Mahela and Ford is going to be rocky as usual. But, with Mahela at the helm we have as astute captain and tactician. Dilshan was tried and it did not pay off. Dilshan can concentrate on his playing once again that is where SL needs him most. It was creditable of Mahela to have taken on the reigns once again. It is sad that Marsh could not benefit from this recent change. Changes in the selectors was long overdue. Having De Mel back is good as he always had youth in his mind. Ford will soon learn for sure how things are going to be. It is a poisoned chalice. Philip Gnana,UK

  • Shan16966 on January 27, 2012, 11:17 GMT

    "No Light at the end of the Tunnel" that is all we supporters understand. No offence Mahela, but why on earth would you put yourself in the unsavoury position? We would have loved to see the senior pros gather around a NEW captain. It might have been 2 moths or 12, but a new captain was in order. To think we do not have captaincy material in the national side is a shame, moreover a worry. Angelo, yes is too young. with the kind of things happening at present he might end up being another Botham if made captain. Look for alternatives!! Why the incoming/outgoing captains had to state there was no political interference is also strange.Everyone knows that there was, is, and will always.C'mon selectors, what about Thilan/ Tharanga???

  • on January 27, 2012, 10:33 GMT

    I totally agree with Lord Elsworth. Cricinfo please investigate. Mahela and Sanga did not help Dilshan. If I were Dilshan I will go and play IPL like Chris Gayle. Cant we find good administrators like Ana Punchihewa? Marvan you speak with a golden tongue.

  • playitstraight on January 29, 2012, 0:55 GMT

    Now that the selectors, coach, and captain have been duly sacked, Sri Lanka can move forward positively. Hopefully the selectors make good decisions, unlike the ones Duleep Mendis made.

  • on January 28, 2012, 16:47 GMT

    if it is any other player will be drop from the tour but it is mahela the captain. no government influence.Angelo the vp not a alrounder now ,with bat what he doing Perera has done more vp.When Dilshan getting runs ,minster wants change .after all we won last two games with 300 runs to get.three four months not enough to get know team couch.if we are not careful what happened to India will happen to SL.

  • on January 28, 2012, 6:01 GMT

    What a pathetic situation. Lets get it right. More than the players & the coach, will this be a the biggest eye opener to SRI LANKA CRICKET. If SL Cricket's authorities has got shaken up with current decline, then we are in the right track for WINNING. If not, take my word, we will keep hearing cash traps, mismanagements, political interferences, sackings & resignations. All the best to JUSTICE.

  • on January 28, 2012, 4:29 GMT

    Good stuff Hilal! I certainly agree with this"Although a new coach and captain have been appointed, the board is still firmly in the hands of men with poor track records, seemingly positioned there by politicians. Despite the recent overhaul, there appears to be no end in sight for Sri Lanka's troubles."

  • Malij on January 28, 2012, 4:25 GMT

    I do not agree with people saying that Mahela and Sanga didn't help Dilshan. If that is the case, even Dilshan didn't help himself. Out of the two, Sanga had scored couple of centuries during last couple of months. But Mahela was out of form. This can happen to any player. It is up to the Captain to get the moral support of the players. And I do not believe that cricketers can under perform for ever. The entire cricket team didn't perform well during last couple of months. This could be attributed to several factors. The major factor was blatant political meddling. Too much cowboy cricket and cricketers getting burnt out (eg. T 20 - a former minister getting involved in signing players for T 20), players not getting paid for several months( SL Cricket bankrupt dancing to politicians tune), appointing inept men as selectors (No one was groomed to take over after Sanga,), politicians getting involved in selection matters (Jayasuriya playing till 40, dropping of Samaraweera) ......

  • on January 28, 2012, 2:42 GMT

    Pretty good article. I think our administration is trying to out do the Pak cricket administrators.Sympathies to Geoff Marsh.Hilal only thing is I dont think anybody is going to make any use of your well constructed article.@taniap sorry to say it's too little too late. Nobody in the board has any clue of what they are doing.Starting with school cricket our structures have crumbled beyond rrepair.We solely rely on talent. The day the talent well dries up it would be dooms day, and cricket would be just part of our history.

  • Rooboy on January 28, 2012, 2:26 GMT

    They'll be ok once they find a new baseball pitcher to replace the one they had

  • Philip_Gnana on January 27, 2012, 14:05 GMT

    SL Cricket after the World Cup win 1996, was never ever going to be The Cricket that we all know of. Once persons with vested interests got themselves into the boardroom via the politicians , seeds of political and monetarism were sown deep. The situation that we see the SLC in at the moment is now there for everyone to see. The seeds sown have now all come to fruition and is spread like a Cedar tree. The job for Mahela and Ford is going to be rocky as usual. But, with Mahela at the helm we have as astute captain and tactician. Dilshan was tried and it did not pay off. Dilshan can concentrate on his playing once again that is where SL needs him most. It was creditable of Mahela to have taken on the reigns once again. It is sad that Marsh could not benefit from this recent change. Changes in the selectors was long overdue. Having De Mel back is good as he always had youth in his mind. Ford will soon learn for sure how things are going to be. It is a poisoned chalice. Philip Gnana,UK

  • Shan16966 on January 27, 2012, 11:17 GMT

    "No Light at the end of the Tunnel" that is all we supporters understand. No offence Mahela, but why on earth would you put yourself in the unsavoury position? We would have loved to see the senior pros gather around a NEW captain. It might have been 2 moths or 12, but a new captain was in order. To think we do not have captaincy material in the national side is a shame, moreover a worry. Angelo, yes is too young. with the kind of things happening at present he might end up being another Botham if made captain. Look for alternatives!! Why the incoming/outgoing captains had to state there was no political interference is also strange.Everyone knows that there was, is, and will always.C'mon selectors, what about Thilan/ Tharanga???

  • on January 27, 2012, 10:33 GMT

    I totally agree with Lord Elsworth. Cricinfo please investigate. Mahela and Sanga did not help Dilshan. If I were Dilshan I will go and play IPL like Chris Gayle. Cant we find good administrators like Ana Punchihewa? Marvan you speak with a golden tongue.

  • Malij on January 27, 2012, 7:35 GMT

    The politicians are now desperate to show the country and the people some good results by the cricket team. So they have now turned back to Mahela whom they have criticized earlier to pull the chestnuts out of fire (a fire they had lit) for them. They know that there is no other way to escape the wrath of the masses.

  • nalincricket on January 27, 2012, 7:33 GMT

    this is a great article and really true still the government influence is to the maximum.and selection of the players to be approved by the minister what a joke?

  • johnathonjosephs on January 27, 2012, 6:54 GMT

    Sri Lankan politics is too complicated for anybody to know about. The actual politicians themselves sometimes do not know what is going on and at the end of the day, money is spent by borrowed money from the Chinese (who are building bases on Lanka in return to strategically spy on India) and a large proportion of the money SLC make are channeled to the pockets of certain people. The cricketers who play well are introduced to the politicians at the top and get politically involved during and after their career. That's why Jayasuriya and Ranatunga have become politicians. Mahela and Sanga will also be politically involved and it seems that Dilshan is being dragged in too. There is too much power at the top and in order for Sri Lankan cricket to be well, there must be a separation between Politics and Cricket

  • spas on January 27, 2012, 5:06 GMT

    SL players should start playing for the country and for others, just like they did almost in the last two ODIs against SA. I was surprised about Angelo's attitude (and so were other SL fans) on personal milestones. if he can waste sessions in a test match in the expense of match decision for a personal milestone, or just taking singles in death overs in an odi instead of big shots i do not understand how he can be an inspirational captain for SL team.

    Cricket is more than a sport in Sri Lanka. it is something Sri Lankan people like without any boundaries like ethnicity, political views, gender or age.... Sri Lankan captain should understand his responsibility to get the whole country together. the number of hundreds he personally make would never count as a country which has lot of wounds to heal.

    Arjuna said once that he prefer a team of average players who have good team spirit than a bunch of good players who play for themselves.

  • Malij on January 27, 2012, 4:53 GMT

    The politicians are now desperate to show the country and the people some good results by the cricket team. So they have now turned back to Mahela whom they have criticized earlier to pull the chestnuts out of fire (a fire they had lit) for them. They know that there is no other way to escape the wrath of the masses.

  • taniap on January 27, 2012, 3:18 GMT

    It is a sad state of affairs in SL cricket these days. If they are to have any hope, they must do the following...

    1) Let the players concentrate on playing the game and the coaches on coaching the team - don't drag them into any management issues. 2) Appoint a professionals who have proven performance in managing into the cricket board. 3) Let them manage the game and it's development without any political influence - the minister should stay away. 4) Board should clearly lay out their plans for the next 3 years and be very transparent with finances 5) Board's performance should be appraised every year to ensure they are on the right track.

  • on January 27, 2012, 1:29 GMT

    Cricket is only thing that Sri Lankans all over the world can proud about. But now what because of dirty politics.

  • r1m2 on January 26, 2012, 18:50 GMT

    And we still don't know if the Lankan cricketers have been paid yet... distraction? what distraction? SLC wants their cricketers to work without pay but not play in the IPL when SL schedules cricket during it... great idea bozos!

  • Lord.emsworth on January 26, 2012, 17:30 GMT

    SL_CRIC has made a very valid point. I think that the underperformance of Sanga & Mahela under Dilshans reign should be investigated. Cricinfo, you have wonderful journalists ....why not write an investigating article about this?

  • on January 26, 2012, 17:18 GMT

    I think Marvan Attapatu's comment a few years ago summed it up perfectly "a bunch of muppets run by a set of jokers"

  • on January 26, 2012, 15:55 GMT

    I have been a follower of Hilal's work for sometime, through IslandCricket.lk and it's definitely heartening to see his valuable comments making a deserving impact on Cricinfo. Looking forward to more of such interesting articles, Dear Brother! Kudos!

  • espnchekmate on January 26, 2012, 14:52 GMT

    during JAYANTHA DHARMADHASA TIME, ELDER BROTHER OF UPALI DHARMADHASA,SLC TV RIGHTS WERE SOLD FOR A MERE US DOLLARS 12 MILLION,WHEN SLC WAS ABLE 2 GET @ LEAST 65 MILLION $,THAT SAME TV COMPANY IF IM NOT MISTAKEN TAJ TV,OFFERED BANGLADESH CRICKET BOARD SOMETHING AROUND 60 MILLION $ OR MORE,SL CRICKET IS 10 TIMES BETTER THAN BANGLDESH,OUR B TEAM CAN BEAT THEM EVEN IN THR HM GROUNDS,I'M NOT TRYING 2 BE A ANTHR KEPLER,BT SL CRICKET IS FAR MORE SUPERIOR AND THEN DA QUESTION COMES THEN WE BEING SUPERIOR HOW ARE WE PAID A VERY LOW AMOUNT WHILE MINNOWS IN THE WORLD GET GUD OFFERS N REAP PROFITS WITH OUT THR NATONAL TEAM PERFORMING WELL, OVER DA DECADES V HV REVOLUTIONIZED DA ODI FORMAT BY ATTACKING IN DA FIRST 15 OVERS,4 A COUNTRY OF THT SORTS ITS VERY SAD WHY SRI LANKA DONT HV PEOPLE LIKE ANNA PUNCHIHEWA ,WHO PLAYED THE GENTLEMAN'S GAME AND WERE SUPERB AND CLASSY ADMINISTRATORS WHEN SL WON THE WORLD CUP, DA NEXT DAY CHAIRMAN OF SLC MR PUNCHIHEWA NOT TO BE FOUND AFTER DA WORLD CUP..OUSTED..

  • on January 26, 2012, 14:52 GMT

    In Sri Lanka cricket is no longer a gentlemen's game where politicians rule the roost.

  • Kays789 on January 26, 2012, 14:33 GMT

    Great article! wholeheartedly agree. it is almost too funny to see guys like nishantha ranatunge and asantha de mel appointed to the same positions they held before. these are guys known for misappropriation of enormous amounts of funds. it is hard to imagine SL cricket would ever be rid of these political stooges. consequently SL would probably never reach their potential like they did in 1996 before all of this vile political intervention began.

  • Tanaka_Yakuza on January 26, 2012, 14:32 GMT

    How do you expect players to perform well when they are NOT EVEN PAID FOR THEIR SERVICES ? Sri Lankan cricketers I think performed extremely well under extremely difficutlt circumstances. If anything, we should take our hats off for them ! Real satans of Sri lanka cricket are the people who run our board now. While R Rajarathnam is in jail for insider trading, our own Upali Darmadasa who who penalized for manipulating Sri Lankan stock market leads BCSL ! And Nishantha Ranathunga, do I even need to utter anything of this lad ? He along with D S Silva is the main culprits behind the destruction of our cricket.

  • yorkshirematt on January 26, 2012, 14:20 GMT

    I expect them to beat England if they keep batting like they are against Pakistan.

  • lanka_86 on January 26, 2012, 14:00 GMT

    Sri Lanka's performances since the world cup (less than a year ago!) haven't been that bad. The team has overachieved in the past 15 years, esp at home and at world cups, and now supporters can't handle losing. They take the easy way out and blame the captain, selectors, SLC, politicians, etc, for everything. Unfortunately we also have people complaining of political interference for political reasons. We also have people spreading baseless romours (eg. ca2ca (January 26 2012, 10:18 AM GMT)). Everyone needs to calm done and wait for the team to rebuild. There is plenty of light at the end of the tunnel with players like Chandimal, Angelo and Bhanuka.

  • 6pack on January 26, 2012, 13:54 GMT

    How very depressing... unless the players and coach can operate in a vacuum, there is no avoiding political meddling.

  • on January 26, 2012, 13:50 GMT

    Patience had run out of most sri lankans, wouldn't be surprised if people have given up on watching cricket. It's not about the way we lose, It's all about how SLC tries to solve them. I myself have given up on watching cricket. btw excellent article, just sums it up.

  • SL_Cric on January 26, 2012, 13:47 GMT

    I think Mahela and Sanga should be responsible for the big losses during Dilshan Captaincy. Mahela and Sanga didnt perform well at all.Some times we felt they did that perpu\ely...

    Under the Sangakkara captaincy we could go upto the World Cup final since DILSHAN batted superbly during the world cup ..Dilshan became the HIGHEST runs taker in that world cup scoring 500 RUNS...and during Sanga and Mahela's captaincy period they had Jayasuriya, Murali,VAAS,and Dilshan in the Team. But Dilshan had NON PERFORMING MAHELA , SANGAKKARA, MATHEWS and DILHARA during his period..so how can DILSHAn WIN MATCES???

    We sas we were ALL OUT for 43 in one match braking 35 years LOW SCORE RECORD..What can DILSHAN do when Batsman are not scoring??? But we saw once Mahela dropped from the 4th MATCH we started to WIN by scoring 300+ runs Two Times breaking a RECORD...I think now CLEAR where is the problem in the team.. Mahela should be DROPPED from the TEAM and THIRIMANNE ,THISARA and chandimal must be in

  • Lord.emsworth on January 26, 2012, 13:09 GMT

    Thank you Hilal Suhaib for the first honest article on cricinfo about the state of affairs at sl cricket. Your quip 'the board is still firmly in the hands of men with poor track records, seemingly positioned there by politicians' is so very true. Del Mel & the rest all have shady records not just in cricket administarion but in public life too. Atapatus jibe about jokers was too mild. These men are tainted and Sl cricket will suffer even more. Correct also to say that there is no one to step up to the captains job. Mahela is an aging icon,lost his batting prowess, and hasnt really a choice himself. Mathews has a poor record too...a brief cameo here & a brief cameo there. Its the Sl boards fault. They should have groomed a young captain a long while ago.

  • Kangon on January 26, 2012, 12:56 GMT

    Spot on Hilal. Agree with you in everything.

  • on January 26, 2012, 12:38 GMT

    @brian richmond, you are wrong men Hilal Suhaib is the founder and editor of Island Cricket. Check www.islandcricket.lk

  • Lion_96 on January 26, 2012, 12:07 GMT

    What a Brilliant article! I completely agree. I don't agree with Mahela being captain. But lets see how it goes. I think if Sri Lanka lose their next two Series (Triangular in Australia and the 2 Test Series against England), there will be even more pressure on the team, as well as the Cricket Board. How many more losses do we have to face before the people realise that we need to get the government out of cricket?? I hope the fans and the media put sum pressure on the board so that there is NO govt. influence.

  • on January 26, 2012, 11:21 GMT

    Sri Lanka is not a shattered team..Yea they gone through a bad period bu llok at the line up..It is good as any..with the amount of young talents coming in future looks bright.Dont take people like Arjuna seriously.He is against every thing & most of his comments are politically motivated.Same with Sanath.He is against Sanga & Mahela for not picking him for the WC and threat for SL cricket now as he is trying to get the revenge.There are problems in management,sports minister should stay away & also selectors like Duleep Mendis should be sacked.Good that MAhela became the captain.Mathews or Chandimal will take over in 2 yrs..WC is in 2015 so long way to go.

  • Sri1967 on January 26, 2012, 11:09 GMT

    Totally agree with the author and hope Sri Lankan Cricket will survive without getting in to the same status of West Indies Cricket.

  • on January 26, 2012, 10:43 GMT

    I guess author of this article is Indian but if he watched India playing then he might have change the title of this to "there is more light at the end of the tunel than Indias' < looooool

  • WPDDESILVA on January 26, 2012, 10:37 GMT

    Welldone Hilal!! Great article. I feel sorry for the players. Sri Lanka will always have those problems lurking around but just imagine if the board was run by honest, well intentioned people, I think Sri Lanka will be the No 1 team in the world. Everyone who joins the SLC is there to harness personal financial gains and not the well being of sri lankan cricket. I think SLC should be run by an independent foreign selected committee and not by Sri Lankans. Basically every employee should be a foreigner, even the janitor! Sri Lankans cannot do a honest days work. It's in their blood. They destroy the one thing we love in this beautiful island.

  • ca2ca on January 26, 2012, 10:18 GMT

    Well written Hilal, similar to what late Peter Roebuck wrote about mistunes of SLC. Most of the blames for the downfall of Sri Lanka cricket should go to politician and thier corrupt lackeys who controlled the SLC admistration. We saw the how WC 2011 final was fixed by SL politicians for what ever reasons. Sadly such things will not stop until these power money hungry hanchmen are kept out. Dilshan can't be blamed much as he was forced on to it. He didn't have the luxery of Murali who was the main match winner. March too can not be blamed. What these corrupt lackey expect from players when they are not paid for months.

    We just keep fingers crossed. Hope more young promising players (and not the types of Kapugedara, chamara silva or kandamby) are given more expose.

    SLC is like a mirror that shows how things run in Sri Lanka.

  • on January 26, 2012, 10:08 GMT

    a good article , BUT i think hilal missed a point ,not only hilal most of the cricket brains miss that we can't count test cricket losses as a SL management coach or the captain failure .

    Because we played the WI series in SL without MURALI with same coaches ,sanga as the captain and with the same old management before the WC.. &but i think in that test series the rain saved us from a psychological defeat, & with the same bunch of ppl we manage to win the WI ODI series and We manage to go to the finals of the WC .

    But we can point our fingers to the management, coaches & captain for the ODI cricket failure in the recent past because we manage to win ODI matches ,ODI series without murali .

  • Herath-UK on January 26, 2012, 10:07 GMT

    I think this writer is in another political camp!Tell me which subcontinent Cricket Board is not accused of fraud and politics and nepotism.However Sri Lanka seems to have reacted positively,though all measures may not seem to be right at this juncture,showing immediate results.Dilshan's abdication looks right mainly because of his poor form though all in all he should be praised having taken the reins when others resigned on masse but cracking on with no murali with no coach and worst selection blunders etc.Look at India, what a pitiful hole and see we got the coach,India wanted sometime back,so should be good if he sticks with it. Ranil Herath - Kent

  • chandi69 on January 26, 2012, 10:04 GMT

    Well said !! A nice true picture about SL cricket. The whole point is that people holding positions in the SLC are being changed like musical chairs. Its this party and then its the other party. Its the same for the selectors also. Are these the only people who can run cricket in this country ? Who is going to be the next captain ? A big question mark. Some people say its Mathews. But I do not agree with it. Can he hold a place in the team with his performance ? No ... Not as a batsman and a bolwer who can bowl 3-4 overs for a match at 115KmPH. With the event of Thrimana its very intersting to see where Mathews plays, since Dilshan, Taranga, Sanga, Mahela, Chandimal and Thirimana are goig to be the 6 batsman and then the 5 bowlers !! So where is Mathews going to fit in ? The next world cup in 3 years away !! Mahela will be 38 by that time !! Is hes too old then ? Who is the next player who will take over from Mahela in 1 years time who can hold a place in the side ? What about Taranga

  • denwarlo70 on January 26, 2012, 9:23 GMT

    Agreed wholeheartedly with the author of this article. In true Sri Lankan fashion I say SLC.sorry.com It's a figure of speech used here in SL to say that the final nail in the coffin is been driven in.

  • on January 26, 2012, 8:53 GMT

    A Brave decision by Mahela, which may put him to the sword if losses keep on mounting. Every one concerned will have to trust in his Charisma & superb PR skills notwithstanding his already proven ability on the field to see Sri Lanka through the rugged Australian summer.

  • Marcian on January 26, 2012, 8:46 GMT

    Good read, as usual from Hilal. Two thumps up! I wish cricket journalist in Sri Lanka are more forthright but sadly most have a hidden agenda except for one or two like Sa'adi Tawfeeq, who is not afraid to call a spade a spade. I totally agree that the future looks murky - and only time will tell how the team performs after sweeping changes in coach, captain and selectors. The resignation or rather the sacking of Dilshan was inevitable; he was never a long-term prospect anyway, being a year younger than Mahela, who is, in my opinion the obvious replacement until young Mathews matures under his guidance. I think Mathews couldn't have asked for a better mentor than Mahela to teach him the finer nuances of captaincy: leadership, player-management, motivation, tactical know-how and of course PR. Mathews is in good hands! Lets hope that I-know-it-all type politicians dont meddle too much in SLC. The sun will rise in the West and set in the East if cricket is completely devoid of politics

  • on January 26, 2012, 8:45 GMT

    Actually i may have just insulted neanderthals

  • on January 26, 2012, 8:44 GMT

    How can we expect the team to perform under these neanderthals

  • rahulcricket007 on January 26, 2012, 8:16 GMT

    SAME IS THE STORY OF INDIAN CRICKET RIGHT NOW .

  • on January 26, 2012, 7:38 GMT

    Well summarized! Nothing more to be said.

  • on January 26, 2012, 7:34 GMT

    It simply pains me as to how TRUE this article is... The Lankans are coming to Australia, and I sincerely hope, that atleast Mahela can try to lift the team spirits..

  • enigma77543 on January 26, 2012, 7:33 GMT

    Typical thing almost everywhere more or less, governments & politicians getting involved into things they should NOT & making a mess rather than letting the professionals take care of the business.

  • 9ST9 on January 26, 2012, 6:55 GMT

    Good point made by Hilal, about the Resignation of Mahela, even though fans and the public were saying he is the right captain, back in 2009 a 4-1 home loss to India was enough for them to cry out loud against him. Dilshans captaincy was a disater and the change was inevitable but the other changes such as changing the coach were actually un called for. Hopefully the ICC will continue to enforce rules to reduce Govt involvement in cricket - a huge problem in the sub continent.

  • Balumekka on January 26, 2012, 6:26 GMT

    You are spot on Mr. Hilal Suhaib! Every thing... from top to bottom is the exact bitter truth of Sri Lankan cricket! A keen Sri Lankan fan.

  • stormy16 on January 26, 2012, 6:13 GMT

    The writting is and has been on the wall for a long time but the crime SL faces is its leaders are unable or unwilling to read! The writter captures all of the pertinenet issues challenging SLC but as correctly piointed out - the powers to be are on the gravy train and refuse to put the Country, the players and people before self interest. It's probably going to go down as one of the sad stories of cricket in years to come - the nation that in 30 years of gaining test status, rose to dizzy heights in both test and one day cricket and produced some brilliant talent but was cruelly destroyed from within. It's a classic case of the enemy within feeding off the success. What is the solution - this article being presented in parliment and printed in the local media for a start. The people and the game deserves better and theICC must demand accountablity from the Government. I beleive the ICC should freeze the funding and the interest of the Government will vanish and there will be light...

  • on January 26, 2012, 5:27 GMT

    one may feel that this is a pessimistic write-up.

  • Wannabekenobi on January 26, 2012, 4:32 GMT

    Excellent words, telling it like it is, couldnt agree more. Board is still in the same sticky hands it was in before, probably to cover up the fact that millions are simply missing and to make sure no one digs deeper.

  • on January 26, 2012, 3:47 GMT

    Jayawardene needs to pull off a Misbah-esque miracle in re-shaping a completely shattered cricket team. Gonna take some time at worst, but there's no reason the Lankans won't eventually rise back up.

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • on January 26, 2012, 3:47 GMT

    Jayawardene needs to pull off a Misbah-esque miracle in re-shaping a completely shattered cricket team. Gonna take some time at worst, but there's no reason the Lankans won't eventually rise back up.

  • Wannabekenobi on January 26, 2012, 4:32 GMT

    Excellent words, telling it like it is, couldnt agree more. Board is still in the same sticky hands it was in before, probably to cover up the fact that millions are simply missing and to make sure no one digs deeper.

  • on January 26, 2012, 5:27 GMT

    one may feel that this is a pessimistic write-up.

  • stormy16 on January 26, 2012, 6:13 GMT

    The writting is and has been on the wall for a long time but the crime SL faces is its leaders are unable or unwilling to read! The writter captures all of the pertinenet issues challenging SLC but as correctly piointed out - the powers to be are on the gravy train and refuse to put the Country, the players and people before self interest. It's probably going to go down as one of the sad stories of cricket in years to come - the nation that in 30 years of gaining test status, rose to dizzy heights in both test and one day cricket and produced some brilliant talent but was cruelly destroyed from within. It's a classic case of the enemy within feeding off the success. What is the solution - this article being presented in parliment and printed in the local media for a start. The people and the game deserves better and theICC must demand accountablity from the Government. I beleive the ICC should freeze the funding and the interest of the Government will vanish and there will be light...

  • Balumekka on January 26, 2012, 6:26 GMT

    You are spot on Mr. Hilal Suhaib! Every thing... from top to bottom is the exact bitter truth of Sri Lankan cricket! A keen Sri Lankan fan.

  • 9ST9 on January 26, 2012, 6:55 GMT

    Good point made by Hilal, about the Resignation of Mahela, even though fans and the public were saying he is the right captain, back in 2009 a 4-1 home loss to India was enough for them to cry out loud against him. Dilshans captaincy was a disater and the change was inevitable but the other changes such as changing the coach were actually un called for. Hopefully the ICC will continue to enforce rules to reduce Govt involvement in cricket - a huge problem in the sub continent.

  • enigma77543 on January 26, 2012, 7:33 GMT

    Typical thing almost everywhere more or less, governments & politicians getting involved into things they should NOT & making a mess rather than letting the professionals take care of the business.

  • on January 26, 2012, 7:34 GMT

    It simply pains me as to how TRUE this article is... The Lankans are coming to Australia, and I sincerely hope, that atleast Mahela can try to lift the team spirits..

  • on January 26, 2012, 7:38 GMT

    Well summarized! Nothing more to be said.

  • rahulcricket007 on January 26, 2012, 8:16 GMT

    SAME IS THE STORY OF INDIAN CRICKET RIGHT NOW .