Letter: Don’t force religion on cricketers and stop ‘worship’ at netball | Sunday Observer

Letter: Don’t force religion on cricketers and stop ‘worship’ at netball

Many thanks to the Sunday Observer sports desk for venturing into a topic that other newspapers scrupulously avoid, namely the forcing of “pseudo religious rituals” down the throat of our international cricketers.

One recalls that on the orders of certain “big shots” in the administration, Angelo Mathews was forced to make offerings at the Dalada Maligawa, even though he is not a Buddhist. Certain cricket officials think that they can feather their (already well feathered) nests by acting as political stooges.

And who is doing this? Stooges within the Sri Lanka Cricket administration, who want to curry favour with some incompetent politicians who are invariably appointed to be in charge of sports. At least one has been honest enough to openly admit that he “knows nothing about cricket”. Another went as far as to “inspect the pitch” before matches. International observers who see these antics take us for a laughing stock.

Religion is a personal matter and the exploitation of religion for “public gain” has only added fuel to our fractious island divisions and don’t we all see the mess it has caused?

Another such demand for obsequious worship is found in netball where the players, after every game, are now expected to fall at the feet of some pompous women officials who should have long since retired. Little do these women know that this behavior is considered demeaning to women and frowned upon by other international players, Asians included.

Cricket administrators should do their job, which is to selflessly administer cricket which they seem to be incapable of doing. The big money that has come into cricket has attracted leeches and parasites to the “Cricket Honeypot”.

Gone are the days of gentlemen cricketers such as Michael Tissera, Dr HIK Fernando, TB Kehelgamuwa, Summa Navaratnam, Hector Perera and the Kelaart family. Back then, they came from every religion, caste and creed.

Jayanta Kurukulasuriya