International Cricket Council or Indian Cricket Council?
International Cricket Council will not be faulted if they change and
call themselves the Indian Cricket Council. We say this because it has
now come to pass where the International Cricket Council has a penchant
to dance to the tune of Indian Cricket Board - BCCI.
The ICC made a big song and dance that the Referral System where the
two teams could go to the third umpire, if they felt that the on field
umpire had made a mistake. A certain number of referrals were allowed.
The Referral System first saw the light of the day during the Sri
Lanka- India series played here. It was on a trial run with some players
being for it and some others not. It was a system for debate.
The ICC even sent their emissary former South African wicket-keeper
Dave Richardson who was the first behind the stumps when the nation had
kicked out the inhuman apartheid system and had been readmitted a full
member of the ICC.
Richardson waxed eloquent on the system in a hurriedly got up media
briefing. I had reason to write and denounce this system giving reasons
for it. Apparently Richardson did not like the comments made by me. But
that is history now.Then the ICC satisfied that this Referral System
would work,made it known that it would become law during the India- Sri
Lanka Test series that is now in progress in India.
We would like to call it the Weeraratne Referral System because it
was Sri Lanka's own Senaka Weeraratne who first mooted this system,that
has sadly not being acknowledged by the Interim Committee of Sri Lanka
Cricket or the International Cricket Council.
But hey presto. Before the series began some of the Indian cricketers
made it known that they were against this system and would want it done
away with. Now what was a black mark on the ICC was that they meekly
surrendered to the Indian request and now the Weeraratne Referral System
is sure to be a thing of the past.
The ICC should have had the backbone to stand straight and tell the
guys who were against it, that they are the ones running the game and
calling the shots and that the Referral System stays and be played
accordingly. But what did the ICC do.? They were as meek as lambs and
without a murmur bent backwards to please the cricketers who objected to
that system, like they did during the Australia- India series when the
Indians threatened to pull out of the series if action was taken against
Harbhajan Singh. That was not all. The Indians objected to Steve Bucknor
standing in the rest of the Test series because he failed to rule Andrew
Symonds out caught behind. The Indians felt that the decisions made by
Bucknor went against them and asked for his removal. Here too the ICC
came out in poor light by pleasing the Indians.
The ICC it seems has still not shed their toothless tiger image. By
failing this time too, it can be said that the ICC sheiks in Dubai are
destined to stay with this toothless tiger image. Sad when one thinks as
to how the ICC has become pawns.
Probably it has still not dawned on the ICC that they would not be
able to introduce the Weeraratne Referral System into the game again,
because other countries too would be objecting. What the ICC now have to
do we need not tell them. However one must appreciate the stand taken by
the Indians. At one time the lords at Lord's thought that they were
Lords Almighty and used the jackboot on the Asian cricketing countries.
They enjoyed the veto powers and the Asian countries had to always play
second fiddle. Now the Indians the powerhouse of finance are calling the
shots and the ICC now have to do their bidding. Sad when one thinks of
the levels that the ICC has dropped to. Serves them right.
We remember where Sri Lanka's attempt to get into the elite as full
members of the ICC was repeatedly turned down asking us to go back and
grow. Junors came down from England and even went round sniffing and
saying that we lacked toilets and other infrastructure and wrote that we
did not deserve full membership of the ICC.
Heroics and daring
It needed the heroics and daring of the late Gamini Dissanayake who
was the President of Board of Control for Cricket in Sri Lanka helped by
the dynamism of Abu Fuard, R. Rajamahendren, Daham Wimalasena and
Vasantha Coomaraswamy backed by the then President J.R. Jayewardene to
corner the ICC lions in their own den and get them to see reason and
finally admit Sri Lanka as a full member of the ICC.
Now that the Indians have told the ICC to hell with the Referral
System, we wonder how the sheiks in Dubai would react and how they will
go from here. We will be keenly watching. Will they come back like a
wounded tiger and pounce on their opponents or will they remain with
their toothless tiger image.
McHeyzer Stadium in Trinco
During my three-day stay in Trincomalee, I made it a point to visit
the McHeyzer Stadium which is the pride of all sportsmen and women of
Trincomalee. The Stadium I gathered from Hafiz Marikar, Secretary FFSL
was built by a Government Agent of that time Rothwell McHeyzer and was
named the McHeyzer Stadium.I noticed that the pavilion still remains an
imposing one, but the same cannot be said of the playing field. Sadly it
has been neglected probably because of the lack of finance.
In addition to the field where football and athletics take place, it
has acres of bare land adjoining the ground. This vast land can easily
be made use for car parking. It is now up to the Football Federation of
Sri Lanka led by that saviour of the game in the country Manilal
Fernando to take the McHeyzer Stadium under their wing and rebuild and
bring the stadium to international standard.
Fernando has only to be asked and with his persuasive ways he can
find the finances required and do the needful and make it an
international stadium and make it the preserve of sportsmen and women in
that city that would be soon bustling with tourist activity now that
President Mahinda Rajapaksa has ended the war.
The hotels in the vicinity are gearing for a tourist influx and
Fernando would do well to concentrate on the Stadium which had produced
many outstanding soccerites who have made it to the national team from
Trincomalee and take more soccer there.
When asked Rukmal Perera, Media Director of FFSL said that three of
Trinco's outstanding soccer players who sported Sri Lanka colours were
former SSP Harold Anthony who was impregnable between the posts, SSP
Clement de Silva who captained the national team and A. Rajadurai who
also stood between the posts for the country. Clement and Harold went on
to become managers of the national team. Paramanandan Balendra also
played for the country. Clement's brother Nimal de Silva captained the
National Youth team.
Trinco also had an outstanding coach in N. Ratnasabathy who produced
Clement de Silva and Harold Anthony. FIFA referees also came from Trinco
in Bala Ariyanayagam and Singaravelu. Trinco also gave national youth
players in Anton Alfanso, S. Lakshamann and R. Vadivelu. It is said that
when Trinco Joes met Hindu College at soccer, at the McHeyzer Stadium a
full house would take in the thrill a minute action produced by these
two teams. It is time that the above mentioned players come forward to
help the FFSL take the game forward with their expertise.