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One year on the fast lane

Jun 27, 2010 11:49:54 PM - srilankacricket.lk

Sri Lanka Cricket Interim Committee with D. Somachandra de Silva as President and Nishantha Ranatunga as Secretary and the new members will be celebrating their first anniversary, and can be proud of what they have achieved.

When the new Interim Committee took over the reins of administering the game, they did so with determination and with the will to do things for the game and all that it stands for.

Looking back on the 12 months that have passed they can pat themselves on a job well executed and performed.

In taking strike on unfamiliar territory, they had the blessings of the sports loving President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

This gave them the strength and the courage to step out and put the game on a fast pitch.

“Gamata Cricket” is the credo of President Rajapaksa and the IC is working hard to take the game to the villages where there is untapped potential.

It is said that those who dare win.

The IC piloted by former leg spinning all rounder and national captain D. Somachandra de Silva and another all rounder cricketer Nishantha Ranatunga dared and stepped out like all top batsmen with commitment and dedication to get on top and score for the game.

It is said that stones are thrown on trees that bear fruit. Likewise the IC attracted their fair share of critics.

But what was admirable in the IC was that they continue to ignore the critics and do a job that they had been installed for.

Very soon the 2011 World Cup will be at our door step and the IC has left no stone unturned to see that every thing will be tops when the umpires call play here. Hambantota and Pallekelle will have two stadiums to international standard. Kettarama is being refurbished.

When these stadiums are complete, they will look a picture and will have the necessary facilities to conduct any international tournament even a high profile one like the Indian Premier League.

Once the Pallekelle stadium is completed the Hill Capital can boast of having a stadium to international standard.

Kandy has over the years given great cricketers to the game and the present Captain Kumar Sangakkara and vice captain Muttiah Muralitheran hail from there.

Here are the achievements of the Interim Committee in brief-

* The number of contracted players have been increased to 75 from 25.This has spurred the younger cricketers to knock on the door for national representation.

* Ten new practice pitches have been constructed at Kettarama.

* The proposed high performance centre will greatly assist cricketers and will provide accommodation for outstation cricketers. It will consist of eight indoor practice wickets and a swimming pool.

* At an international event held at the Taj Samudra, fifty Sri Lankans who had done their bit for the development of cricket in the country were felicitated.

* For the first time in international cricket Sri Lanka was ranked number two in the Test rankings and was in line to create history if they beat India.

* Had they beaten India they would have been the best team in the Test scene.

* Thanks to the unstinted efforts of the chairman and members of the Interim Committee there will be a surfeit of cricket with inbound tours by Pakistan and New Zealand and India for a triangular. Sri Lanka toured India and played three Tests and a series of one-dayers.

* Sri Lanka toured Bangladesh for a triangular followed by the World T20 in the Caribbean and the ground breaking tour of the US where two Twenty20 games were played with New Zealand.

* The future cricketing calendar for the country looks wonderful and cricket lovers are in for good times.

* New Zealand, India and Sri Lanka will soon play a triangular. In November the country will host the West Indians for a Test series and a one day bash.

* Sri Lanka will tour Australia in October followed by the all-important World Cup in 2011.

* It is great that the ICC has asked Sri Lanka Cricket to conduct the next Twenty20 World Cup in 2012.

* This is because there are plenty of international stadiums available and the ICC is happy that the game and the administration is in safe hands and is on the right track.

* So the Interim Committee can sit back and pat themselves on a job perfectly executed.