No Justification For Marsh’s Removal, Not Even Plausible Credentials Of His Replacement, As The Principle Is All Wrong. Decent Cricket Involves Integrity And In Dumping Him There Was None!
Posted on January 27th, 2012

Howzatt! By Doosra Sammy

January 27th 2012

 Sorry to disillussion you ! Mr Dharmasiri, Sri Lanka Cricket Board Chief or anyone else who tries to justify the decision to remove Mr.Geoff Marsh but it was simply a misguided and classless decision to terminate his services particularly after the historic Test win and the 3-2 ODI series which despite Sri Lanka losing did show a lot of promise in the team which quite visibly was the influence of the coach and the responses he got from the players under very difficult circumstances in South Africa and for this reason alone some gratitude should have been shown and an opportunity for Mr Marsh to continue his good work.

 Former Skipper Arjuna Ranatunga’s evaluation that “it was indeed a bad decision and disgraceful” must be upheld coming from someone as astute as he is about cricketing matters, team building and all the protocols involving coaches, contracts etc. where one cannot cast aside the decorums involved saying “it was in the best interests of the team”, as it was not! To the contrary it could be very detrimental where the judgement from a great personality of Sri Lanka cricket invariably takes greater prominence than an appointed or for that matter elected President of the Board whose affiliations with the game at its highest level does not even come close to that of Arjuna Ranatunga. The wisdom of Arjuna’s conclusion needs to be paid attention to so that such decisions will not be repeated in the future and in order that Sri Lanka does not become the laughing stock of international cricket where power hungry as well as greedy, opportunistic polititians get involved in the Cricket Board and its functioning for their personal reasons in opportunistic perspective which becomes more apparent with each passing day!

 Perhaps the time is at hand where the Sri Lanka Cricket Board needs to be Administered, managed and run by individuals who have brought repute to Sri Lanka through participation, have proved their net worth and credibility and have acquitted themselves at the highest level with great attention to integrity and decorum where names such as Michael Tissera, the replaced Anura Tennekoon, Sidath Wettimuny, Arjuna Ranatunga and a host of others seem more deserving of executive administrative level participation than some who pretend to have the best interests of Sri Lanka cricket at heart but sadly their interests appear to be more vested than anything in the realm of what their real objectives seem to be.

 When Sri Lanka’s cricket chief and new president of the Board Upali Dharmasiri attempts to justify the sacking of Australian coach Geoff Marsh and the selection of a new team captain, saying the changes would help usher in a new era of “cricketing excellence” he doesn’t have the ground to stand on or suggest in seemingly hollow self conviction that.”We will reap the benefits of these changes in the fullness of time and when will that fullness of time come to pass ? ask many discerning!! In another ten years maybe if ever !!

 The appointment of Ford according to Mr. Dharmasiri was “based on the fact that he can cope with the demands a 21st Century coach has to cope with in the international arena”, and in saying so seems to portray a complete lack of insight into what ails Sri Lanka Cricket where blaming the coach seems one of them compounded by the incapacity to fully comprehend the reality that interference and unnecessary demands by ‘outside’ sources are more to blame than the direction of a well established international coach of standing such as Geoff Marsh who has every attribute and more to be a coach of the 21st century and those who do not envision it perhaps somewhat blinkered or biased for reasons best known to themselves alone!

 It is also a slur on the capabilities of Geoff Marsh whom many consider a cricketing personality of high repute given his track record with Australia and actions detrimental towards acknowledging this which is what its all tantamount to, based on his sacking are totally unjustified. It will more than likely bring about the laughter and ridicule Sri Lanka cricket will be subjected to down the road and alluded to previously if its neo-administrators with little or no clue about how best to administer the Board towards the posterity and growth of Sri Lankan Cricket from a real cricketing perspective ( beyond idiosyncracy as it seems), do not watch their rhetoric and meandering and carry on as though they wrote the book on cricket administration!!

 Breaking news somewhat remarkably and coincidentally over the issue of the removal of Tillekeratne Dilshan as captain has brought out a somewhat suppressed statement from former skipper and Dilshan’s replacement Mahela Jayawardena who in a veiled sense has spoken out about an issue which needs attention where the reference to ‘outside’ interference and influencing with coercion towards relinquishing the captaincy prior to and after the last World Cup directed at both himslf and his replacement Kumar Sangakkara from obviously powerful sources albeit unmentioned categorically where he has all but admitted that their hands were tied at times in a manner of speaking and they did not have the full authority to make their own decisions which speaks a lot for the string pulling that goes on beyond the public eye!

And it comes as no surprise to learn that Dishan too was given an ultimatun to resign whe it was the most discouraging thing he could have faced in his career despite the pros and cons of whether or not ot affected his performance capabilities which again seems debatable at best!

And for the record, the goings on within the Cricket Board probably need to be investigated for breach of democratic principle if nothing else if it is in any way possible towards ascertaining the justification of unilateral decisions taken by sources and individuals at administrative level who seem to think that Sri Lanka Cricket is a game of chess with a bunch of pawns who can be manipulated, moved and pushed around indiscriminately, to which the response should be a big NO SIR! Not At All!

And it needs to be reiterated that there can be no justification for Geoff Marsh’s removal where not even plausible credentials of his replacement can compensate for it. The principle is all wrong as decent cricket involves integrity and in dumping him there was none!

6 Responses to “No Justification For Marsh’s Removal, Not Even Plausible Credentials Of His Replacement, As The Principle Is All Wrong. Decent Cricket Involves Integrity And In Dumping Him There Was None!”

  1. Wickrama Says:

    Marsh should have been sacked well before. It was quite evident during the Aussie tour that he was more interested in the performance of Shaun Marsh than the Sri Lankan cricketers !!

  2. Sunil Mahattaya Says:

    What a dimwitted comment!
    Hypothetically, If Wickram had a test playing son in Sri Lanka while he was the coach of the Lankan team where would his attentions be one wonders? Totally oblivious to the performace of his son or divided between both entities? And how was it so evident that Geoff Marsh’s attention was more directed at his son? Clarify these comments if you don’t want to get laughed at!

  3. douglas Says:

    Sorry I am no cricket “Pandith”. Yet I am an ardent supporter and fan of the game. In that perspective I wish to make my comments.

    This game of Cricket has undoubtedly put my country in the world map, to such a level that traditional Tea identity has almost placed it, in second place. All our players (even before gaining Test Status) have played a very prominent role as Ambassadors and everyone in the game must treat them as heros. This game too underwent a huge transformation, so to say, from “elite” to “common man”class. That is why we see even in the remote villages the children who cannot afford a bat and a ball, make their own with “polpity and kaduru fruit” (for bat & ball) and use a “polpitta supported from behind with a stick” as the wicket. So to all players (no need to mention names) a “BIG THANK YOU”

    What is its present state? Sorry to say, as in every other affair of the country the biggest threat- The Political Amoeba” has invaded. This has put Sri Lanka in the world map very widely, leave aisde being the Runners up of the World Cup, but when the Hon’ble the Minister in charge wanted to investigate the history making speech of our hero Mr. Kumar Sangakkara in UK. Fortunately that was prevented by timely intervention of Defence Secretary Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa. Do we have to talk of this man and his actions any more? That alone goes to prove who he is and what he is doing (probably a hidden agenda) in this Government.

    Then comes the administration of the very “Authority” of the Game. The COPE Committee, appointed by the Parliament and headed by a very senior and a well respected politician Hon’bl Mr Dew Gunasekera pointed out it as a very “corrupted” organization within the Public Sector, and recommended it to be investigated. Even before the Committee findings, we Sri Lankans knew what was going on and had no one to turn to for redress. We knew and it was very much public, what D.S.de Silva & Co. did in handiling the affairs of this Public Authority. They are enjoying the life very much in luxury having squandered its resources (financial) and making the oganization to go bankcrupt. Of course this D.S.de Silva was a cricketer appointed by the HE – but the point is: Did he live upto the expectations? No, not at all. He brought nothing but disgrace to the very person who trusted him and brought up to that level. This is what has happened to our HE and his Government. Very unfortunate and disturbing. So with some of the Ministers he has in his Cabinet.

    Do we or can we expect anything respectable from this type of Ministers and the type of Administration they have set up to run the affairs of a Public Institutions? One thing all have done is to put Sri Lanka in the world map by disgraceful behaviour and actions in this great sport “Cricket”.

  4. Wickrama Says:

    SunilMahattayo, anybody can laugh at anybody. This is a free country.

    If I had a test playing son in Sri Lanka while I was the coach of the Lankan team, obviously my attention would have been undivided to BOTH, since I am a SRI LANKAN, and my son would have been playing for SRI LANKAN TEAM!!

    On the other hand, if my JOB was coaching a team of another country, I obviously would have concentrated on that job at hand. If my son needed my attention, I would not have taken such a job.

    As for evidence, read the following excerpts from a Daily News report;

    “”Son’s progress more important?
    Geoff in marshland

    First outing as coach a disaster:

    DINESH WEERAWANSA

    Sri Lanka coach Geoff Marsh had allegedly concentrated more on his native Australian team’s matches against South Africa rather than the team he is officially coaching in Sri Lanka, an away series against Pakistan.

    It has now been disclosed that coach Marsh has been concentrating more on the live match coverage of the series between Australia and South Africa on a notebook computer when his team was struggling against Pakistan during its recent Test and One Day International (ODI) series in the UAE.

    Besides being a former Australian cricket legend, Geoff Marsh has a particular interest in concentrating on Australian cricket as both his sons are among the contracted players in the Australian national squad.””

    ……………..

    “”It is alleged that Marsh Snr, using a borrowed laptop computer, had been following the live feed of Australia’s batting debacle against South Africa in the recent first Test on November 11, 2011 while Sri Lanka team, batting first, was shot out for 131 runs in the first ODI against Pakistan in Dubai on the same day. Team sources said Marsh Snr was not concerned to boost the morale of the team when Sri Lankan batsmen were returning to the dressing room, in quick succession, as wickets tumbled at regular intervals.

    Instead, he has been fully focused on the first Test in Cape Town where Australia was shot out for 47 runs in the second innings to lose by eight wickets to South Africa. Shaun Marsh, who made 44 in the first innings, made a two-ball ‘duck’ in the second essay on November 11, much to the disappointment of his father. “”

  5. Sunil Mahattaya Says:

    Firing a coach on allegations and speculated conflict of interests is no justification without real proof that Marsh indeed is guilty of the accusations just because his sons are in the Aussie squad. What Arjuna’s as well as this item’s reasoning is about the lack of decorum in terminating Marsh’s contract after the historic Test Win as well as the 3-2 ODI loss which could well have been a win had it not been for the rain. And “thinking” for the father in favour of his sons and alleging about things rather than citing with tangible proof is typical of many who are quick to point fingers yet fail to convince as the substance of it all is based on speculation and innuendo!! He said she said!!

  6. cassandra Says:

    Sunil Mahattaya,

    I am with you on this one.

    I don’t know about the writer of this article or the other two respondents and yourself, but as for me, I am not privy to what actually happened in the dressing rooms when Sri Lanka was losing that game to Pakistan or as to how Marsh performed in his role as Head Coach. So, in this matter, I can only go on such things as the balance of probabilities, the track records of the parties involved, what credible evidence we have and common sense.

    Marsh’s credentials and track record are not in question. He is also well known to be a very amiable and honourable man. As against that the track records of the SL cricket administrators and the Minister of Sports are pathetic, to say the least. And, as for newspaper accounts, who in his proper mind will place much reliance on what the ‘Daily News’ reports? A friend tells me he only buys that newspaper for the advertisements and for the Obituary Notices.

    So, what if Marsh was following the progress of the Australian game, involving his son, in South Africa? Could he not have done that without it impairing his role as SL Head Coach? I have no doubt he could have. I understand that most coaches respect the fact that the captain is in charge once a game gets under way and choose not to get too involved in the actual way the game is played. Having said that, I have seen one bowling coach of a Test side, running to the edge of the playing field and giving advice while a game was in progress. This was very distracting and in this he was clearly undermining the authority and judgement of the captain. Not surprisingly the cricket commentators and former captains were highly critical of his conduct, noting rightly, that he should leave it to the captain to control the game on the actual field of play.

    I have read what Arjuna Ranatunge has had to say and also the reported remarks of Michael Tissera and Dave Whatmore in regard to the termination of Marsh’s contract. None of them is complimentary of the SL cricket authorities.

    Taking all into consideration, I have no doubt the SL cricket authorities have done Marsh a grave injustice in the manner in which his contracted was ended. He should rest assured, however, that many – if not most – cricket lovers in Sri Lanka will feel embarrassed with the whole thing and sympathise with him.

    Whatever the ham fisted SL cricket administrators and the Sports Minister would want to believe and whatever Wickrama says, there is little doubt that this episode will have done much harm and damage to SL’s image abroad.

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