By Suresh Murugaser
After bleating (or was it braying? – I’ll leave that to the reader to decide on!) that Sri Lanka Cricket was the third most corrupt organisation in the country, the new Sports Minister C. B. Ratnayake (unfortunately not a relative of that fantastic predecessor K. B.) has really put his foot in it, by appointing (or should we say, having it appointed for him?) the very same Interim Committee, apart from a couple of dissenters.
This is shameful! If I were him, I would resign, but ministers resigning in this country are as rare as hens’ teeth! One would have expected a novice at the job to study the situation before coming out with such profound statements. Unfortunately, certain ministers have taken it upon themselves to be empty vessels.
With all due respect to D. S. de Silva, his cricketing prowess aside, he does not have the business credentials to run a multi-million rupee institution like Sri Lanka Cricket. End result? In the best Sri Lankan tradition, he banks on his nephew Suraj Dandeniya to virtually run the organisation ex-officio despite having a full-time CEO and Additional CEO in Messrs. Duleep Mendis and Ajit Jayasekera.
Of course, the nephew was more than adequately rewarded in a US Dollar based salary by being made the World Cup Organising Committee Chairman as well! His brother was also paid to be a member of that committee too. Talk about keeping it all in the family!
I applaud Aravinda De Silva’s appointment as chairman of the Selection Committee. I hope his brave words of being totally independent in selection decisions don’t go the same way as the Minister! Knowing Aravinda, probably he will resign if there is interference, so there’s a silver lining.
The only hitch is that there are three people from the NCC on the selection panel now, the only exception being Shabbir Asgerally. Despite the calibre of those concerned, given the fact that Kumar Sangakkara is also from the NCC, it smacks of some degree of partiality, don’t you think?
Well, we are into the final bend as far as the World Cup is concerned. We have the precocious talent – apart from some who choose to overstay their welcome. I feel that we have it in us to win it again on the sub-continent.
I have Sri Lanka Cricket’s best interests at heart, which is the purpose of this piece. Let’s not throw the baby out with the bath water!