So for the second time an IPL captain and a Sri Lankan player offered to "sit out" a match in order to make way for another player and give better "team balance" to the team in the semi finals of CLT20, Daredevils vs Lions. Jayawardene was the second Sri Lankan player do so. First being Kumar Sangakkara, when he offered to "sit out" in more than one game when he was captaining Deccan Chargers.
First question that comes to my mind is, does any player really wants to "sit out" matches regardless of whether it’s a knock out game or a league game? They are professional cricketers and "resting" is out of the question, since they pretty much knew what they were getting into, when they joined leagues like IPL and CLT20. So if it is not about "resting", why does a player opt to "sit-out"?
This trend was not seen in international cricket (hoping it doesn’t happen in future either) and has been so far only seen with Sri Lankan cricketers. So what is it that leads to this situation? Does the player think that he is not good enough to be in the playing XI, or is it just a plain and simple case of ‘player being dumped’ by the team management?
I do not believe any player in any sport, at any point of their careers (even when they are woefully out of form) would regard themselves as ‘not good enough’ to be in the team. That’s human nature to be competitive, and a player always tries to prove that he belongs at the highest level. Not even a school cricketer would go and say to the coach: "Hey, i’m out of form now, so let my buddy take my place." It just doesn’t happen at any level; forget sports, it doesn’t even happen in a workplace. People can be selfless but not that much! Not in a high paying league. No true fierce competitor, which Jayawardene is, would want that, let alone a captain of the team. They would try to go as far as they can until someone says to them that they are not good enough. So is it truly a case of captain opting to "sit-out", even in a crunch game?
Did Jayawardene’s dismal performance in the CLT20 league stage lead him to being dropped to make way for hard-hitting Warner? Did the Delhi management just sugar coat it by saying the captain offered to sit out? Come on? Who does that? A whole new cover-up story?
If it really was Jayawardene’s decision (or Sangakkara’s in the Chargers’ matches), how come we didn’t see the same selflessness in SL games? There were times when both of them were horribly out of form when playing for SL but I can’t seem to recall either of them opting to sit out? So again the question; was it really their decision? Food for thought!
PS: This is not a ‘conspiracy theory’ or a sight of a ‘storm in a tea cup’, just an observation from a SL fan’s point of view. No disrespect intended to any players.