Former media manager takes a jibe at Sri Lanka Cricket

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Brian Thomas, who was Sri Lanka Cricket's media manager from 2009 until his contract was not renewed earlier this year, has written an article on The Island paper today which I highly recommend everyone read.

Thomas is clearly upset with cricket board officials that he was let go and his response to it all is pretty amusing.

Thomas questions if the upcoming SLPL will be a success and if the cricket board has handed the task to a company (Somerset Entertainment Ventures) that is actually capable of carrying out such an event.

Thomas writes,

To make any event a success, financial stability and planning are of paramount importance. Media relationship plays a major role, whilst the quality of players on show, in this instance a T-20 competition owned by franchise holders must be in line with the IPL or the Big Bash, to state the least.

Player contracts must be signed, done and dusted and all payments due to players must be paid in full, before the launch of a new venture, and last but not least, the partner SLC is dealing with, must have the experience in handling events of this magnitude. This is world cricket and hence, a bunch of sports enthusiasts forming an organization and promising to deliver, will not help.

The truth of the matter is, does SLC have all this covered? The Treasurer of Sri Lanka Cricket, Nuzki Mohamed, is still to calculate the estimated cost of this mega event, scheduled to get underway in less than three weeks.

Secretary Nishantha Ranatunga, who is not qualified to make a statement on financial issues, plays the same record on a different page which he did during ICC World Cup 2011.

Nishantha Ranatunga repeatedly stated that SLC will not be at a financial loss in constructing three new stadiums for the World Cup. At the media briefing before the start of the pompous SLPL launch, he tells the media that he is confident that SLC will not incur a loss, in conducting the SLPL.

This statement is to every right thinking individual, a joke, taking into consideration his past statements and false promises.

Remember, we have secured only 31 million US$ for seven years.

It sounds like Ranatunga has made yet another enemy. This one though, because he was a part of the SLC furniture for sometime, can prove to be a real annoyance for Ranatunga and the rest of the government's lackeys at the board, as Thomas may know more than what they want revealed to the public.

Thomas then takes a jibe at the "IT guy" heading the marketing department at the board,

SLC and its partner have not even attracted players of the calibre of Daniel Vettori and David Warner. The truth hurts; this proves that the marketing department of SLC, headed by an IT guy, is not good enough to market the SLPL concept, professionally.

It is high time that Sri Lanka Cricket understands the value of our players and the marketing team be focused when negotiating a product that has immense value.

But nothing beats Thomas's hypocrisy. Throughout his article he poses as member of the media who sympathises with journalist that have trouble gaining access to information because of the board's draconian polciies.

However, during his time as media manager he was no different. Thomas made it impossible for certain journalist and bloggers to interact with the board and the players. Whilst he bent over backwards for large media organisations, the smaller fish were often ignored and sidelined.

Comments

Sanki8OH8's picture
Member since:
27 March 2010
Last activity:
42 weeks 1 day

He's speaking some truth and got great points, but we all know how crappy he was at his job as well when he was the media manager of SLC!!

Ravana's picture
Member since:
8 July 2010
Last activity:
11 hours 28 min

Hypocracy and ineptitude aside one thing has to be made clear. There does not seem to have been any sort of "gagging" of players by the present authorities.

Saadi Thowfeek once wrote an article that this was the case but it was categorically denied and established that this was far from the truth, in another forum.

Disgruntled employees and their grouses and an IT person ( well known as geeks and introverts) heading marketing which is traditionally the domain of extroverts.....all par for the course I'm afraid.

Hilal's picture
Member since:
20 November 2008
Last activity:
4 min 53 sec

@Ravana:

Wisden contacted Sangakkara after he won the two awards and Sangakkara had informed them that they needed to get approval from SLC, as the players were not allowed to speak to media outside of press conferences.

Wisden confirmed this to us via their official Twitter account as well. Please see: https://twitter.com/WisdenAlmanack/statu...

Ravana's picture
Member since:
8 July 2010
Last activity:
11 hours 28 min

Hilal,

I think that is pretty much par for the course isn't it ? Most boards have that restriction that interviews have to be cleared but not what they say.

Hilal's picture
Member since:
20 November 2008
Last activity:
4 min 53 sec

My point is that Wisden could not obtain comment from Sangakkara directly (outside of a press conference) but you have seen Sanga and other player's quoted on several articles on the web for a number of years now right? Many times they are quotes from players after reporters spoke to them outside of press conferences. Players are often interviewed outside of press conferences.

Do you think all these journalists were waiting for SLC approval and then spoke to the player after approval?

Hilal's picture
Member since:
20 November 2008
Last activity:
4 min 53 sec

India is in Sri Lanka currently and usually we'll see a ton of articles from Indian reporters who interview players after bumping into them in the hotel or outside. I'm not sure if that will still be the case if the players tell the reporter that SLC has instructed them not to speak to reporters without approval.

Ravana's picture
Member since:
8 July 2010
Last activity:
11 hours 28 min

if you are a contracted player or any sort of employee and your contract has a clause that you have to obtain clearence before speaking to the press or any permutation thereof, you are obliged to honor that.

You should dispute it at the point of signing or abide by the rule.

Now I am not aware of the exact circumstances surrounding Sanga but this is an aspect that should be considered. Having said that there is no mistaking the fact that we have "undemocratic" individuals holding political appointments who are unable to take any form of critisism.

Hilal's picture
Member since:
20 November 2008
Last activity:
4 min 53 sec

I don't disagree with the fact that you have to abide by clauses in your contract.

And, I also understand that when Arjuna was chairman he did not like players talking to the media without prior approval.

I'm also aware that there has always been a clause of some kind in the past that prevented players from being critical of SLC and requiring approval when talking to the media.

But it was not enforced in the recent past and anyone could approach a player and seek their opinion. I am told that there was an attempt to further restrict the players by way of new restrictions in their contracts which never materialised.

What would SLC do if Sangakkara breaches a clause in the contract? Are they going to terminate his contract? Perhaps new restrictions would have meant imposing a fine, which is something that could actually be enforced.

Ravana's picture
Member since:
8 July 2010
Last activity:
11 hours 28 min

I guess the answer to the last paragraph in your post is that :

(a) Sanga as a senior player and a former captain should appreciate the value of not breaking the rules.

(b) No single individual is EVER greater than the interests of the game.

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