Sri Lanka Premier League was a success
Russel Arnold responds to questions from fans in his weekly column
September 2, 2012
The papare band entertains spectators during the inaugural SLPL. © Ron Gaunt/SPORTZPICS/SLPL
Do you think the SLPL has been a success? How do we measure success in a tournament like this; is it by the crowd turnout at games, players being unearthed, the experience gained by domestic players, or the profit made by the board – or all of the above? How do you measure success when it comes to the SLPL? – David DK
I think it has been a success. It’s a case of ticking the boxes. There are areas that need to be worked on, and we also have to accept the fact that it will never compare with the likes of the IPL, but here is a product that works for Sri Lanka. There is plenty of opportunity for many in many ways; an opportunity to mix with great players, showcase your talents to a large audience and financially too there is a benefit for not only players but others as well. The crowds could have been better. However, interest in the tournament from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh has been wonderful. It’s a case of trying to work at it, and the tournament needs everyone supporting it. Why I say that it was a success is because it was better than I initially expected it to be, and also now there is an SLPL - a tournament we can call our own.
Although we have identified some bowlers through the SLPL, why it is we couldn't find a real batting talent? – Ashan Janaka
I thought there were a few bright spots. We managed to pick up Dilshan Munaweera. However, Munaweera is far from a finished product, but there is something to work with. I was quite impressed with Milinda Siriwardena as well, he made quite an impact each time he walked out to bat. With Siriwardena's fielding and bowling added to the mix, he could be very useful.
Is it a good move by the selectors to pick Dinesh Chandimal, who is not in form, ahead of Chamara Kapugedara for the T20 World Cup? – Shashika Atapattu
I would have done the same and picked Chandimal over Kapugedera. Chandimal did end the tournament with a good knock, which should give him confidence. He is a talent I would persist with. Going by Chandimal's form in the past and the temperament he has shown, especially in Australia, I would be patient with him.
Cricket fans like me in Kandy are thrilled that we now have an international ground close to Kandy, which has quickly become the best in the Island. It is not only brilliantly located with a wonderful ambience, but seems to have a very sporting wicket when compared to other grounds, giving assistance to bowlers and to skilful batsmen and making for some really good contests. We are bemused however at the commentators’ choice of naming the two ends of the wicket. Both Rikillagaskada and Hunnasgiriya are not only unpronounceable but located at least 30 km away from the ground. Moreover, they are not even in line with the wicket, making it difficult even for those who have lived all their lives in Kandy to know which end you are referring to. The foreign commentators are perhaps reluctant to make a change, thinking it is too sensitive and it is up to the local commentators to make the change. Discuss it among yourselves and just call them the 'pavilion end' and the 'press box end'. What do you say? – Dr. Sivali Ranawana
Unfortunately, it is not the commentators' call. The ends have been named by the ground authorities, and we just simply follow suit. It’s not my call to make the change, it is upto the local authorities – but point taken.
Who is your pick for player of the tournament at the SLPL? – Ruvin Gunawardena
There are a few contenders. Tillakaratne Dilshan for his all round efforts but, since Dilshan's team won just the one game, he will not get my vote. Jacob Oram has been an impact player and has been very good with the ball, while also playing a few important cameos with the bat. Ajantha Mendis, Sohail Tanvir, Kamran Akmal, Shaminda Eranga and Dilshan Munaweera have all been very good.
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