BLESSING IN DISGUISE- SELECT A NEW TEAM TO TOUR ENGLAND
Posted on April 16th, 2011

By  M D P DISSANAYAKE

The Sri Lankan Cricket Board has a fine opportunity to select a non-IPL team to be sent to England for the forthcoming tour.  Forcing the current IPL contracted 11 players to return by 5 May for the pre-tour training sessions will naturally demoralize them and may perform under-par in England.  Judging by our overall performances during the  match  of the recently concluded World Cup Final it is becoming clearer that Sri Lanka would have beaten any other team except India on that day.  Many are casting doubts  and a smell of a rat for the way in which the entire episode unfolded.  Now Great Murali, who has retired from the game has become the spokesperson to  attack the Sri Lankan Cricket Board on behalf of IPL  and IPL contracted players.  There is no doubt that Murali has a great passion for India , having married to a beautiful, wealthy girl from India, he has every reason to support India as well.  The day before the world cup final, Murali’s mother in law made a colourful public statement to the media, that she is unable to make up her mind as to which team she should cheer and hoped that the Final match should end in a “tie”  and the World Cup could be shared between India and Sri Lanka.  Half fit  Murali was wicket-less  in 8 overs  giving 39 runs to India.    

Sri Lanka invested heavily in building two ultra modern cricket stadiums and upgrading the existing R Premadasa Stadium, together with massive capital expenditure on infra-structure to bring the associated locations to international standards.  This capital investment is not wasteful money at all, but if  Sri Lanka had won the World Cup, the return on investment or the pay back period would have been quite attractive.  There is plenty of potential to upgrade the game of cricket in Sri Lanka thus making it yet another non-traditional foreign exchange earning source for the country.

The continuing relationship with IPL by Sri Lankan cricketers  is not healthy for the game at national level.  It is imperative that future contracts of all players  must include a clause compelling the contracted players to give priority to national commitments ahead of IPL engagements. 

For the upcoming tour of  England, Sri Lanka should select a new team headed by Thilanga Samaraweera  as the skipper with Tharanga Paranavitana  as his deputy with the aim of Paranavitana taking over the skipper’s role in two years time. Looking ahead for next world cup, players such as Dinesh Chandimal, Thilan Kandamby, Dilhara Fernando, Upul Tharanga, Lahiru Thirimanne, Thilan Thushara,  Angelow Mathews, Lasith Malinga, Indika Udana, Mahela Udawatte, Koushal  Weeraratne, Chamara Kapugedera, Chamara Silva, Chanaka Welagedera, Suranga  Lakmal, Jeevan Mendis, Malinga Warnapura, Suraj Randiv, Ajantha Mendis should be given the opportunity .  For the England tour Chaminda Vass and Mahroof  ought to be included.  There is plenty of young talent in Sri Lankans squad, too much dependence on big names has not produced the desired results, as some of the players had become fortune hunters ahead of national interests.

Australia has appointed Michael Clark as its new Skipper, who made it clear as far back in 2009 that he will not play for IPL but concentrate on his game for Australia.   Whoever becomes the next skipper and his deputy for Sri Lanka must be two players who will refrain from playing for IPL at all.   We need leaders who will not have any conflict of interest , if we are to beat the current world champions India, in 2015.

It is welcoming news that Duleep Mendis has been given the opportunity to head the panel of team selectors.  Duleep  has never been a stubborn  leader,  he is very much a team player, listening to others views and making decisions.  The elevation of Marvan Atapattu as the batting coach is yet another sound decision. 

4 Responses to “BLESSING IN DISGUISE- SELECT A NEW TEAM TO TOUR ENGLAND”

  1. Dham Says:

    Thank you very much Dissa for this. It is good that you did not include Jayasuriya this time.
    Yes if we drop even Snaggakkara, DIlshan, Mahela , we will improve within two years. They have too much interest in IPL. Let them have a choice. They are great players as well as Jayasuriya , we acknowledge that. But it will show their patriotism. I am sure Sanga will chose SriLanka over India. Not sure about others.
    Murali shall be dropped from 20-20 as well. Minister must show that he has balls. Why should we lose 20-20 world cup because of him ?

  2. ranjit Says:

    I agree with Dissa and I too like this change. Country should be ahead of everything. These cricketers love money more than their prestige and honour. Who ever retired and gone should not be given a chance again in my view.Sanath, Murali,Vaas should not try to come back instead they should coach our cricketers around the country and try to find new talanted players to play for SRI LANKA. Politicians or the Government should not interfere in any sports unless there is some problem or an issue related to that particular sport. Mendis is a very shrwed captain and a good chairman in the past and also very popular among cricket loving fans in our country. Atapattu is too very popular and a good player and we need people like them to do a service for the sake of the country not players who play only for money. Some cricketers like playboys just making money and ruining their married lives and bring shame to this well loved sport.

    We are better than India in all fields but unfortunately we lost the final due to so many mistakes. Now we should concerntrate on the future and try to beat India as well as other teams and become a force to recon with. We have the fastest bowler in the world in Lasith and we have the best mystry bowler in the world and we have the best wicket keeper in Sanga and many very good batsmen to deal with any type of bowlers so we shouldnt bother too much let’s start new forget the final and move on to become the champions of the world. We can do it if we have the will power like the President says all the time. New thinking and new ideas will bring victory for all SRI LANKANS.

  3. Nanda Says:

    ranjit,
    Shall we say Malinga is “the best fast bowler” rather than “fastest bowler” ?
    These days there are many bowlers faster than Malinga. Even Dilhara is faster than him sometimes. Nuwan Praddep too is faster , I think.
    Another thing is Sangakkara cannnot be the “best wicket keeper”. We may say “best wicket keeper batsman” instead.

  4. cassandra Says:

    I must say I am a little surprised about the SL Sports Minister’s reported call to the
    SL cricketers playing in the IPL, who may be selected for the England tour, to ensure they return to the island by 5th May, to be available for pre-tour training. What surprises me is that it is only now the SL cricket authorities seem to have realized that these players would require to return by that date. Cricket tour schedules are not drawn up overnight, and the England tour dates will have been known for a long time. So, would the authorities not have known when the SL players were given permission to play in the IPL, that they would have to be back by 5th May? If so, should the players not have been told then?

    You state that “Whoever becomes the next skipper and his deputy for Sri Lanka must be two players who will refrain from playing for IPL at all”. I think to expect this is to ignore present reality. (Since you wrote this, Tillekaratne Dilshan has been appointed Captain and he is a contracted IPL player). The reality is that we live in an era of professional cricketers. And we need to appreciate that it is not unreasonable if professional cricketers, who ply their skills to earn a living, should seek to increase their earnings by playing games outside the national ‘circuit’. So, I have no problem with the SL cricketers playing in the IPL or with the English counties, subject, of course, to necessary limitations.

    You also state that “It is imperative that future contracts of all players must include a clause compelling the contracted players to give priority to national commitments ahead of IPL engagements”. I agree with the underlying sentiment, and imagine the current contracts probably already include some such clause. Presumably the current contracts also provide for players to be available for pre tour training for national games and for players to obtain prior permission before accepting other engagements.

    The team to tour England should be selected with care and, with an eye to the future, include players of promise. But if one of the objectives is to develop a team to win the World Cup in 2015, I cannot see how you can include Vaas and Maharoof in the tour party, regardless of how well they have served SL cricket in the past.

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