Issue with contracts not good for Sri Lankan cricket — Arnold
Russel Arnold responds to questions from fans in his weekly column
March 3, 2013
Has SLC done the right thing by essentially banning players if they don't sign contracts? What is your view of the contract dispute? — Ruwan Kuruwita
These standoffs are common when it comes to contract negotiations. I hope a compromise will be reached soon and it will be business as usual. I feel for the younger players at this time, as their lives have become suddenly complicated. This tour was an opportunity they have been dreaming of. They had so much to gain, but are now faced with this situation. This contract issue will hinder the team's preparation for the Test series, because the players' focus will be on their contracts and on having their demands met, rather than on playing cricket. We also have many youngsters in this current squad, and this is a tough experience for them. This issue with contracts is not good for Sri Lankan cricket or for any party.
These days, we see many bowling actions that just do not seem to fit the ICC's guidelines, as they all look to the naked eye to be exceeding 15 degrees, but umpires rarely report these bowlers. Do you think there is a flaw in the ICC's process to report suspect actions, which makes umpires and referees reluctant to report a bowler out of fear of public backlash? What do you think of the process and how can it be improved? — Wasim Muhammed
It's a tough one. The best example is Murali. You cannot deny that his action would make you look closely, but when tested it was proven that it was legal and showed us a totally different picture — an amazing story. Umpires and match referees therefore need to be cautious, and they need to be very certain before they question anyone. If even the slightest of doubts exist over a player's action, starting the process of rectifying it should be done early. Local coaches and and umpires need to be given more responsibility in that regard. Identifying dodgy actions and then remedying it needs to be done at the domestic level not at the international level. That's where players are identified and come through the system. It is better to address the situation early rather than having to go though the process at international level. Perhaps the ICC can help with training coaches and umpires at the domestic level to identify suspect actions and to correct them. Fixing the issue early is less stressful on the players too.
What's so special about Akila Dananjaya? Many bowlers know how to bowl off spin, leg spin, the googly and some even know how to bowl a doosra, so what's so special about Dananjaya? — Manilal G.
The ability to disguise those variations and his attitude stands out. At this point, he appears very confident at executing his much-improved skills, and he knows how to and when to use his variations. Although many can bowl these different deliveries, they don't do so well under pressure. They also may not know how to react and respond to high pressure situations. Hopefully, Dananjaya will improve further.
Why are ex-players from your generation not interested in becoming cricket administrators? Why don't you contest in elections as an independent candidate? — Ian Selvakumar
There are a few involved in administration at this stage, but I feel it's a little too early in my life to step into such a role.
Should politicians be allowed to contest in SLC elections and hold positions of authority at the board? Won't their interests be politically motivated, and not in the best interest of Sri Lankan cricket? For example, agreeing to build a stadium in Hambantota is great for the government, but has been a financial disaster for the board, but our cricket board agreed to it, which has left the board in lot of debt. — Ajantha
Anyone who makes positive decisions for cricket is welcomed, as far as I am concerned. Anyone can be influenced, or can make decisions for wrong reasons for that matter.
What was your emotions when you lost the 2007 World Cup final? Any tears in the dressing room? — Sahan Dikmadugodage
It was disappointing to end the game the way we did. We went into the match very confident, but not a lot went our way. Just before the game it rained, and the start was delayed. Even after Gilchrist's magnificent assault we felt we were in the game, but due to the rain once again our task was made more difficult, and then having to complete the match in total darkness took away the thrills of the contest. Yes, we were disappointed. There were certainly no tears however. It was a flat evening, where it just did not feel right even for the victors. The magic of a World Cup final was lost, and by the end of the evening the emotions had faded away.
What type of fast bowler is Kasun Madushanka? Is he a swing bowler like James Anderson or a seam bowler like Vernon Philander, and which way does he move the ball predominantly? — Bahavan
Madushanka bowls around 130 kmph and is quite nippy. He looks to be a bright prospect and age is also on his side. I would term him a swing bowler rather than a seamer.
How do international players select bats? Do they buy the same bats that are available at retail stores, or do they use special bats? How do you pick a good bat? — VK Jayatilaka
It comes down to how good it feels in your hand; the balance, the weight. Most bats are big nowadays, and they do travel a mile when it hits the bat. Players give out their specifications to the bat manufacturer, and they have their bats made specially for them. There are instances where they see bats in stores, or even in their mates' bags, and pinch it because it just feels right when you pick it up.
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