Sri Lanka Cricket admits its folly | Sunday Observer

Sri Lanka Cricket admits its folly

At last Sri Lanka has now acknowledged what independent analysts have been saying over the past 20 years that the country’s cricket team depends on individuals ever since winning the World Cup in 1996.

The acknowledgement has now been made by none other than the chairman of selectors Mr. Ashantha de Mel who in the absence of a proper administration has taken matters into his hands to make public utterances on administrative matters.

Mr. De Mel’s latest grievance is that the team needs a spin bowler like Akila Dhananjaya who has been banned by the ICC over an illegal bowling action. What is more hair-raising in that Mr. De Mel also wants to bring back another spin bowler Tharindu Kaushal who was banned for throwing. Tharindu Kaushal was banned many years ago and Mr. Mel thinks this bowler can now come forth to deliver like a messiah. More than half the people in this country don’t even know where Tharindu Kaushal is.

Has Mr. De Mel forgotten that spin bowlers will have a very small or no role at all to play in the next World Cup in England where the pitches will cater to the fast bowlers. More importantly the pitches are greener in the month of June when the World Cup will be played in spring time thereby conducive to fast bowling.

By continuing to depend on individuals Sri Lanka continues to insult its crack team of 1996 that had revolved around all 11 players and not a single individual. The team had a specialist spin bowler in Muttiah Muralideran, but it was the spinning trio of Kumara Dharmasena, Sanath Jayasuriya and Aravinda de Silva who took the bulk of the wickets on the slow turning pitches in the subcontinent.

Sadly three years later when Sri Lanka went to England to defend the World Cup in 1999, the team could not even qualify for the second round. Sri Lanka Cricket will do well to think about the World Cup in 2023 in the subcontinent and not the 2019 World Cup in England.

Warren Hendriks, Negombo

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