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New Beginnings

Jun 5, 2010 3:05:38 PM - thesundayleader.lk

Usually I bat before Aravinda. To follow Aravinda is a new phenomenon and I am privileged to write this column hereon. I will share my views first up, with the way I see the game as it is today and where it would be heading in the near future.

Cricket is more than a mere game now. It’s a huge business. It is not acceptable for players to claim leave of absence due to tiredness. So much of cricket is being squeezed out of players now than ever before. It would also open doors for many more players to represent the country. There would be more than 15 players in each squad representing different formats. Consider, Sri Lanka could be playing simultaneously in two or even three different countries. A Test series in England, a 50 overs game in India and a T 20 in South Africa. This would mean 45 players representing Sri Lanka at the same time.

The league style games have become very popular and lucrative. Perhaps countries would have to re schedule games to make key players available. This would be so if these games continue to be popular.
To me, Test Cricket is yet the ultimate format. It’s a bit funny to call it a format. Test Cricket is the purest form of the game. More needs to be done by way of marketing to make Test Cricket find its due place. And in my book, right at the top. I have also abhorred comparing cricketers from different eras. It’s not only unfair but is anomalous.

Cricket in Sri Lanka has taken root. The path for young cricketers should be clear and transparent. That is how I would like to see it. They should know what levels are expected and aim to achieve the required standards to earn a national cap. A national cap should not be devalued for expediency or other reasons. Players, be they at club level or school would know where they are heading and therefore be able to hone their skills and work on the weaknesses. This would also make the job of the selectors, easy. Suffice it to say this is not happening now due to varied reasons. If I was playing yet, I would like such a system in place.