One pivotal mistake by Sri Lanka cricket may have a domino effect on their plans for the 2019 Cricket World Cup.
by Kiri Sathananthan
It’s New Year’s day and I am preventing my phone from blowing up with useless wishes by diving headfirst into work. I am that VT guy on an international channel who does promos for upcoming cricket series [not really]. It just so happens the tri-series between Bangladesh, Zimbabwe and Sri Lanka will be taking place this month. I am the guy who will go the extra mile and spend a lot of time and money to plaster the captains on to add a fair representation. This process has taken forever. I feel content with life now.
I check my phone a week later. SLC have a press-release stating they will confirm a new ODI and T20 captain on the 9th January. Damn it.
Sri Lanka are now on the precipice of choosing a new hero to take the throne. Again.
They have chosen four captains in the past calendar year alone. Surely being an international captain would suggest you’re an icon. A symbol to a nation. A bridge to the next era. Sri Lanka has an impressive list of former skippers. Arjuna Ranatunga, Aravinda de Silva, Kumar Sangakarra and Jayawardene can be spotted if you scroll down a bit. It’s an impressive list but just doesn’t feel right. That very list is now saturated with players who will quite never touch the same echelon as a Sangakarra or a Jayawardene. SLC have made a list of elites into a receipt of deletes.
A changing of the guard many times was one of many mistakes they have made. However, this one mistake will be hugely detrimental. With no clear plan for the World Cup, their shining star Chandika Hathurasingha is putting together a fairytale plan that will never come to fruition thanks to the damage caused by said mistake.
Without a clear leader, Sri Lanka’s players could not build support and familiarity with a captaincy style which will ultimately affect how they play in games. I mean how much responsibility does a captain have? He only has to wave arms around like aircraft runway signallers for a field placing or then move said arms to hip when a catch is dropped. Far from it. He is the most important player on the pitch.
Thisara Perera has now been axed as skipper in both ODIs and T20. His batting has been patchy. His bowling has been destructive; for his own side of course. With his form in mind, the selectors may have made the right call. Perera’s captaincy has not been the most positive either. SLC are now likely to pick Angelo Mathews or Dinesh Chandimal to lead the side but both are the only viable options at the moment. Mathews has been prone to injury while Chandimal has not even cemented a spot in the ODI team. However, there is also a possibility SLC could hand the helm to one of the youngster’s in Kusal Mendis, Dhananjaya De Silva or Niroshan Dickwella.
Sri Lanka have decided to press the reset button with only 16 months left until the 2019 World Cup. This could truly be their last chance to get plans right with a successor to the throne or I will have to be paid for overtime.