Sri Lanka T20 proves a hoax as big guns go missing | Sunday Observer

Sri Lanka T20 proves a hoax as big guns go missing

2 September, 2018

Tournament director Sajith Fernando claims matches were a success as one team uses nine bowlers to bowl 20 overs :

Despite it turning out to be one of the most disputable Leagues in the country, Sri Lanka Cricket is over-the-moon that the on-going SLC T20 domestic tournament has produced the desired outcome by way of playing standards and patronage.

The downgraded tournament, an alternative to an event that was to feature international players but could not be held due to the absence of an elected administration, was without three top players, Angelo Mathews, Thisara Perera and Kusal Perera, for four of the six matches ahead of today’s final. Mathews the captain of the Kandy team and Thisara Perera the captain of the Dambulla team launched the tournament and disappeared from the scene with the former ending up in Australia for medical treatment and the latter “inflicted with a swelling” at a practice session on the eve of the tournament according to its director Sajith Fernando. The third player Kusal Perera left for England to talk business over a compensation payment following a dubious doping case that implicated him four years ago.

But Fernando claimed the matches had the expected results although he would have liked to have a fifth team in the fray which was not possible under the circumstances.

“I think the results have been beyond our expectations”, said Fernando. “It met the expectations of players, coaches, selectors, spectators and managers and the competitiveness was brilliant”.

But Sri Lanka Cricket, or what is left of its administration which is now under a so-called Competent Authority, will not be able to hide the fact the tournament neither had the hardcore players on show nor enabled the new faces to prove anything of themselves.

Pre-tournament hype suggested the young hopefuls would have the chance of leaning about big-time demands by playing alongside the seniors. At one match Dambulla used up as many as nine bowlers to send down their 20 overs against Kandy in the absence of Thisara Perera as they defended 202 and won by 18 runs with batsman Dhanushka Gunathilaka opening the bowling.

International fast bowler Suranga Lakmal the captain of the Galle team played the first two games and moved out as did the skipper of the Colombo team and Sri Lanka captain Dinesh Chandimal who played only in the first four matches and aggregated just 71 runs.

Kusal Mendis produced a mere 81 runs in four games while Niroshan Dickwella had a scavenging 24 runs from four games and veteran fast bowler Lasith Malinga played more as a spent-force waiting to hang up his balls and boots than a fast bowler attempting a return to the Sri Lanka team. He conceded11 wides bowling 24 overs to take just three scalps in six matches for his Kandy team.