UPUL THARANGA SHOULD REMAIN AS ODI AND T20 SKIPPER
Posted on April 6th, 2017

By M D P DISSANAYAKE

Both Rangana and Upul were victims of circumstances of Sri Lankan cricket.   Rangana failed to secure  a permanent place in the team as the selectors opted to play one spinner.   Muralitharan dominated the spot for quite a long time whilst Rangana was rested on the bench.  Suddenly the selectors have realised the importance of Rangana,  not only as  a regular bowler but even to lead the team as a stand-in skipper for test team. He has thus far delivered the goods, under extremely difficult cisumtances.

Upul Tharanga was also sidelined for several years and he was virtually buried during that period.  No one would have expected Upul to command confidence of the selectors, let alone be placed as the Skipper for ODI and T20.

During this short period, both Rangana and Upul have managed to control further erosion of the rankings of Sri Lanka.  Their ability to communicate effectively with the squad ought to be commended.  Both  of them are not big headed and they are not political stooges.  If we did not give the reign to Rangana and Upul during past year or so, West Indies, Zimbabwe and Bangladesh would have probably overtaken us.

Hard work has been done by Rangana and Upul, both of them commanding respect from the young players in recognition of their  Leadership and Accountability skills.    They never played the game for personal glory.  They never chased down record books. But they articulated their leadership by embracing the inputs from the team to achieve success. 

However,  there are quite a few opposing the continuation of Rangana and Upul, citing following reasons:

  1. age, b. leadership succession and c. English speaking skills
  2. AGE: Rangana is 39 years and Upul still 32 years of age. If Rangana is physically fit, he has opted to play  regardless of his age.  That is a decision of a wise man.  No body should push him beyond that line.  During the limelight of his career, he was confined to the bench.   They were many matches during latter part of Murali’s career,  where he did not get wickets, but the selectors were freighted to drop Murali because he was a Tamil.  A Sinhalese player would have been  dropped like a hot potato. for example: Upul Chandana, Thilan Samaraweera, Hashan Tilekeratne.  

Upul  Tharanga was disliked by many in the past for several reasons.  The Chairman of Selectors have commended Upul for his ability to communicate with the team and command respect.  Upul himself is gradually coming to grips with the game consolidating his position and displaying his leadership and cricketing skills.

WG Grace of England was 50 years whilst Gummby Allen (England), Wally Hammond (England), Bob Simpson (Australia) were over 40 years, when they became test skippers, compared with Rangana and Upul 39 and 32 respectively.

The critics may argue that the game has changed dramatically since, but we need to bearing in mind the techniques of training and development have also changed dramatically.

  1. LEADERSHIP SUCCESSION:

When Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene were at the helm, there was no discussion on leadership succession.  There was no short list of potential candidates at that time as both Kumar and Mahela were on solid grounds.  Angelow Mathews was groomed for about a year, not as part of planning process, but as a backup for a Crisis Situation.

It is imperative that the cricket management  develop a team of potential leaders who are displaying skills of stamina, patience and aggresiveness.

  1. ENGLISH SPEAKING SKILLS:

This is more directed towards Upul Tharanga than Rangana.  The criticism comes from the BLACK WHITES OR KALU SUDDA, who consider that the ability to speak English profusely at the Toss and at the Presentation as hallmark of success of a great leader.  Going back to the days of Michael Holding, Curtley Ambrose, they used interpreters at the toss or presentations, but delivered the goods with their cricketing skills. 

Some of our past skippers speak English in a colourful manners, in many instances I thought we were listening to Geoffrey Boycott or Ian Botham.     Upul’s challenge is not to improve his English, but to improve the cricket rankings of Sri Lanka.  Some of our young cricketers who were awarded Man of the Match recently, spoke in Sinhala.   Upul Chandana said once : ” I don’t want to become the Man of the Match,  because I don’t want to talk with Tony Greig”.  We urge, all Sri Lankans not to demoralise our young and senior players, by downgrading our colourful Sinhala Language.

AFTER ALL, DO WE HAVE AN OXFORD EDUCATED ENGLISH SCHOLAR AS OUR EXECUTIVE PRESIDENT? 

4 Responses to “UPUL THARANGA SHOULD REMAIN AS ODI AND T20 SKIPPER”

  1. Somapala Senerath Says:

    We just defeated him in 2015.

  2. Sarath W Says:

    If we can have a puppet as our country’s president who has no proper education and can not speak in English, we can certainly have our cricket captain without proper English speaking skills.

  3. charithsls Says:

    Talking of post match presentation speech Roshan Abeyasinghe came for huge criticism when Mendis spoke to him in Sinhala (rather than in the broken queen’s as almost all others do without shame) but Abeyasinghe seemed to dismiss him off without asking a single question back in Sinhala as of he does not know a Sinhala word to ask so. In the recently concluded emerging cup Final post match presentation when the losing Pakistan captain spoke in his Urudu the man who was the Presenter asked him questions back in Urudu. Either Abeyasinghe does not know Sinhala or he is a KALUSUDDHA which he most probably is. There was a huge cheer from the SSC crowd when Mendis spoke in Sinhala as the crowd understood it well but Abeyasinghe cruelly dismissed off Mendis to the chagrin of the crowd. Over to the SLC, is this Sri Lanka?

  4. DR M D P DISSANAYAKE Says:

    Roshan Abesinghe speak good Sinhala if he has discriminated Sinhala players, the cricket management need to reprimand him. I am sure he will refrain from such acts in future. There are Sinahalese in Sri Lanka and overseas, especially in Sydney Australia, they feel ashamed to speak in Sinhala. This is due to their own lack of self worth or INFERIORITY COMPLEX or in Sinhala called : HEENA MANAYA.
    At a time where many tamils and muslims change their surnames to Sinhala names, sit for GCE OL in Sinhala and think they qualify to marry Sinhala Buddhist girls, it is disgusting sinhalese themselves downgrade their identify. If you are a Tamil, you are a Tamil for ever. If you are a Sinhalese, you are a Sinhalese for ever.
    From 1948 to 1956 Sinhala majority suffered under UNP Kalusuddas. They are back in power again. If in public forums such as Cricket Events held in Sri Lanka, upcoming Sinhala boys and girls should receive special p treatment.

    Isn’t Sambandan receiving preferential treatment from Wicked Ranil by making him as Opposition Leader (ALTERNATIVE PRIME MINISTER OF SRI LANKA), when the Tamil Pariah has won only 16 seats out of 225 seats in Parliament.

    Those Sinhalese who are working against Sinhalese must be punished in public.

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