Posted on December 1st, 2017


When we were chatting about newly appointed ODI captain of Sri Lanka, there was a general consensus that Thisara had more failures than successes.  Then a colleague of mine said failures are the Pillars of Success”.   Another friend promptly replied, Yes, he had more Pillars, but not a single building”.

Since the retirement of cricketing greats Mahela Jayawardene, Kumar Sangakkara and Dilshan Thilakaratne, the cricket captaincy was a game of musical chairs.  In different formats of the game, so far we had, Lasith Malinga, Angelo Mathews, Dinesh Chandimal, Upul Tharanga, Rangana Herath, Lahiru Thirimanne, Chamara Kapugedera and now Thisara Perera, since the retirement of Dilshan Thilekeratne in 2012.  Altogether 8 captains during past 5 years.  Now there are few other names being tossed around for the near future.  They are:  Asela Gunarantne, Dananjaya Silva, Milinda Siriwardene, Kusal Janith Perera, Kusal Mendis and Kaushal Silva.

A captain is a leader.  Prominent persons in charge of the game in Sri Lanka had promised us a glorified future, with a strategic plan for Leadership Succession.  We now ask them, where is your Leadership Succession Plan? We have invested large sums of limited resources to recruit top class   Coaches to achieve positive results of building Leadership Succession. In addition, the services of Araviinda, Vass, Hashan, Marvan, Sanath,Gurusinghe, Romesh Ratnayake, Roy Dias, Upul Chandana were integrated into different spheres of domestic and international competitions for training and development.

The Wheel fell apart, when suddenly Angelo fell ill.   In leadership succession, isn’t there a back-up or reserve pool of potential captains? Where and who were they?  If those names have been mentioned in the second para of this article, then question need to be asked, Why they were not given a fair chance and length of time to prove their talents?”

After the retirement of Kumar Sangakkara ( in quick succession after Mahela’s  retirement) Dilshan  was brought in, who held the role only for 2 years.  At that time there was a great sense of urgency to flush out Dilshan and crown Angelo, even though Angelo might not have completed all facets of So called Leadership Course”   pioneered by Sri Lanka Cricket.

Is Thisara Perera being USED in the current episode as a stop-gap and bring back Angelo just before the World Cup?  Do you call it   the Implementation of Strategic Plan?

According to veteran Management Guru Prof. Peter Drucker The only definition of a leader is someone who has followers.”

  1. Let’s bring back the skippers who have already been tested:

Lasith Malinga

Angelo Mathews,

Dinesh Chandimal,

Upul Tharanga,

Rangana Herath,

Lahiru Thirimanne,

Chamara Kapugedera

Thisara Perera

  1. Now let’s bring back the potential skippers:

Asela Gunarantne,

Dananjaya Silva,

Milinda Siriwardene,

Kusal Janith Perera,

Kausal Mendis

Kaushal Silva

Now, reverting to Prof. Drucker, we should ask Which Leader  has the Most Effective   followers within the team”?


  1. Dilrook Says:

    After Arjuna, Sanath, Mavan and Malinga (T20) we didn’t have a captain with the fighting spirit. Mahela and Sanga were good but not at that level of captaincy. Angelo Matthews was a very weak captain but a good all rounder (now more of a batsman only).

    I hope Thisara will do well as captain because he is a fighter. His batting and bowling ‘fortunes’ fluctuate much like the team’s fortunes. Lets wait and see if his captaincy skills are any better than his bowling. It’s the team that wins matches.

    In a more broader sense, how can cricket be immune from collapse when everything in Sri Lanka is collapsing!

  2. ranjit Says:

    Yes he is a fighter when he plays for green bucks not when he plays for his country. His time is finished. He shouldn’t be in the team even in my view. What about youngsters?? Can’t they lead a team to win???? There are many exciting cricketers in this country without any argument for sure. So let’s start building a new well deserved young energetic strong team to face the world cup by now itself. Training and fitness is more important than anything else. Better to have a well experienced foreign coach than a local coach because our people never take seriously anything. They will take it easy with our own coaches and will lose the matches. Also a bookie mam shouldn’t be the president as he will be more interested in his own business than cricket. We need cricketers like Anura Tennakoon, Michael Tissera etc to take our cricket forward. Fans respect our old cricketers very much than the cricketers we have today.

    Why this cricket board continuesly dropping cricketers like Kusal Janith, Dananjaya,Kusal mendis,and other bright youngsters who played well in past matches? You must learn from Indian cricketers how to open an innings. They play exciting and attractive cricket for the fans to have fun not like our Thirimanna very boring cricketer who will block for every ball he plays and at the end he will get out like a amateur for an easy ball. Our cricketers do not have energy and enthusiasm to win matches. Win or lose play exciting cricket without making every game boring to watch. We need a good Captain with an energetic young blood not oldies with no life in their bodies. We appreciate MDP’s fine article and I agree with him in all his points. Keep politics out of this gentleman game for the good of cricket. If Sri Lanka lose the current tour these captains must resign and go home and take rest for the benefit of the game.

  3. Ancient Sinhalaya Says:

    Thisara Perera has the best qualification you can’t overlook. He has never been to a temple! Full marks for that!

  4. RohanJay Says:

    India is too good a team for Sri Lanka. Besides India has most of the time had the wood on Sri Lankan cricket anyway. But it is worrisome as a fan of SL cricket to see the lack of fighting spirit in the current SL team. Sri Lanka are one of the most exciting cricket teams to watch in world cricket when they play well and are successful. The current team no doubt has the talent. Is capable of beating any team in world cricket on their day even these days. However mismanagement by those who run SL cricket with big political interference is holding SL cricket for achieving success and full potential. This however has been going on now for a long time. The cracks were papered over by the likes of Sangakkara, Mahela, Vass, Murali, Dilshan …etc to name a few. They were strong characters, the current team has immense cricketing talent but needs good guidance. Also they were unfortunate to play a back to back series with a very strong Indian team.
    Sri Lanka needs to recover now fast as the cricket world cup is only 1 and a half years away in England. They need to get their act together fast before then if they want to have a strong showing at the next World Cup in England.

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