Thursday, February 22, 2024

Alien to tell best bowlers Hasaranga, Theekshana how to bowl

by malinga
February 11, 2024 1:20 am 0 comment 898 views

By Callistus Davy

Sports Minister Harin Fernando’s wide quest to purge SLC of a White invasion no-balled with the entry of another who has never played for his country :

In yet another mockery of events taking place at corruption tainted Sri Lanka Cricket, the country’s best two white ball bowlers Wanindu Hasaranga de Silva and Mahesh Theekshana will be taking lessons from a lesser mortal from Australia by the name of Craig Howard who never played for his country and most followers in the island have never heard of.

Howard has been contracted for a two-year period from February 1, 2024 and will be telling the world’s third and fourth best ranked spin bowlers Theekshana and Hasaranga how to bowl to take wickets or restrict teams beginning with the white ball home series against Afghanistan that started on Friday.

Australian spin bowling coach Craig Howard, Sri Lanka’s latest addition to a heavy presence of foreigners in the backstage team talks to Dunith Wellalage at the Pallekele stadium (SLC)

Interestingly Hasaranga took a career-best 7 for 19 against Zimbabwe in an ODI in January this year to help Sri Lanka win the series 2-0 and Howard was nowhere near to be seen when the scalp hunter and finished product from Richmond College ran circles round the Africans.

Overall Hasaranga and Theekshana have taken 267 white ball wickets for Sri Lanka with Hasaranga taking the bulk of 172 wickets in a six-year career so far and both have been two of the most sought after international bowlers at the highly rated Indian Premier League (IPL).

But Sri Lanka Cricket thinks Howard is just the man that the team needed at a time two of the world’s best two spin bowlers in Muttiah Muralidaran and Rangana Herath who conquered every batsman in the world have been grabbed by other countries much to their liking rather than linger to work for what has become the world’s most internally politicized cricket administration.

“A qualified level three coach Craig has held a 12 year stint as the consultant coach of Cricket Australia (CA). He has worked on CA’s spin bowling for pathways and national teams,” SLC said in a media statement on Monday.

But what SLC had to explain or is yet to clarify is how and why it chose to disregard the advice of their number one patron Sports Minister Harin Fernando who last month questioned the multitude of foreigners that he referred to as ‘Suddho’ or Whites dictating to home grown players and called for a scale down of the invasion of so-called overseas experts.

“We have eight white men (Suddho) deciding what has to be done and the players don’t understand what they are saying. We cannot play cricket like this. I am telling SLC that somebody should take the blame for the (World Cup) debacle in the team. It is SLC that is responsible or is it the (foreign) coaches whose contracts we keep extending”, Minister Fernando said.

What is yet to be known is how much will be latest foreign recruit Howard be paid by the thumping rich SLC.

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