A reality question from an Apoy-SL fan to Mr. Sumathipala – as requested in recent press conference


We are heading for the 12 th series defeat across all formats inside 13 months, without seeing any end to the dark tunnel of so called "Transition-Period", elongated beyond many moons now.

Negative minded Skipper Mathews did the same set of mistakes in NZ series too. He kept Chameera off wasting the advantage in initial overs, letting opposition batters to settle. As we all saw, this was only one among many. If you analyze SL batting, when Chandimal got out in 11th over, the score was 76 (7 runs per over was maintained until then) and further 72 required from 9 overs with 8 wicktes in hand (RR was just 8). But SL couldn't achieve it, WHY? Obviously the  LACK OF EXPERIENCE in late order & Negative batting of No-4 Mathews (wasted 20 deliveries to score just 12 runs in the most vital stage of a T-20)! This was the story in most instances in every format for SL during past 2+ yrs.

Inexperienced Hard hitting youngsters alone wouldn't win matches for SL, as proved yet again. We had experienced Sangakkara & Mahela to do the job in the past. But whom do we have now?

Only front order batter available for SL with such experience & situation appropriate aggressiveness is Upul Tharanga (T-20 career: 1806 r @ 27 Av – 125 SR -12 x 50) better than,  Dilshan 26 Av- 122 SR, Shehan 20 Av -115 SR, Chandimal: 28 Av -119 SR and Upul has a SR even comparable with Sangakara 29 Av -125 SR (based on Domestic T-20 records, since Tharanga was not given any opportunity in international T-20 since 2012 single match. That was 4 years ago and he had played just 10 international T-20s and 8 of them were during 2006/07, that was 10 years ago as a rookie, so no point considering them now).

WHY not, most EXPERIENCED Upul Tharanga considered in any format, with a fair window of opportunity for so long?

Less than handful of random chances over 30 months for such an experienced front-order batter, especially during a time SL is having a severe dearth in finding proper replacements to fill the gaping hole left behind by Sangakkara & Mahela ?? Same can be said with discarded allrounder Fraveez Maharoof, who is a much better consistent player than Thisara Perera, with more international experience. How can you justify this? All we saw during past 2+ years was continuous blackout imposed purely on assumptions and long term overlooking of experienced international players without even a tiny fraction of continuous opportunities granted to others.

For example; Upul Tharanga holds the records for World's second highest number of hundreds (13) & 50-plus scores (38) made by No1 batters ever in Odis, facing under 4,000 deliveries. But just a solitary odi was given to him to bat as No1 since Aug 2013 (out of nearly 70 odis including the flopped World Cup matches SL played since then). Didn't we have a massive problem throughout at the opening spot, since they totally eliminated Tharanga in 2013 ?  There must be something really wrong with the system to "overlook" such players without opportunities during a period exceeding well over two years. They continued like this despite repeated humiliations, sinking SL cricket to a pathetic standard never seen before. But now, no one is answerable for the current mess.

This was said before (more than a year ago) and precisely predicted the inevitable outcome, SL Cricket is suffering today. Someone has to open eyes and do something positively to utilize every iota of assertive resource we have, before SL become a permanent minnow in World Cricket. This is a major issue no longer possible to sweep under the carpet.

As an Apoy SL-fan, I sincerely hope to see a difference in policy making to eliminate such "overlooking" under your regime and I believe you will be able to bring back the glory days of SL cricket in future…

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