A comprehensive loss to Pakistan leaves all Sri Lankan cricket fans with only “more of the same” to expect in the near future.
A thrashing in South Africa, annihilation in Australia and embarrassment at home from England is all we can expect. The way I see it we have 3 options:
Back to the future
We can go back to asking Mahela to captain the ODI team and Sanga to captain the test team. We can look at discarded players like Thilan Samaraweera and include them in the tour party. An exercise in futility,(not necessarily including Thilan) but particularly as we are supposed to be building a team for the next world cup.
Shore up the present Status Quo
Leave everything as it is. Try to shore things up by bringing in form players into the squads and hope for the best. A course of action that will attract massive criticism for the lack of pro-activity that it displays.
Go for broke with new faces
Appoint Mathews as captain, bring in a whole host of “new” players from the junior teams and send them off on an experience gaining venture. With the new coach and hopefully a new attitude.
The reasons for the defeat in the Middle East, has been and will be analyzed by experts for many more days to come. The weaknesses in the batting may be highlighted and even the leadership may be brought into focus. The new coach may be spared because he has just taken over. The attitude of the players particularly the seniors, vis-à-vis the money they earn playing for franchises as against their Country and the priorities and values connected with performance on those different stages will be evaluated.
However the bottom line as I see it is that the aforesaid defeats in the future are definitely on the cards. Miracles do happen and cricket is a game fraught with glorious uncertainties but the conditions for a possible miracle should be available and Uncertainties are not something that can be relied upon!
The Bouncy, quick wickets of South Africa, combined with a truly formidable array of Quick bowlers will stretch the resources of miracle makers. The unrelenting purposefulness of the Aussies and the blood lust of the crowds that treat sport as a substitute for war will reduce the probability of uncertainty to nothing and the professionalism and the preparation of the English will make our feeble hopes dwindle.
My personal choice would be to give the new boys a chance. There are plenty of young players who have proved themselves in the junior ranks and who are rearing to go. Set them free and let them show the world that Sri Lankans’ play cricket for enjoyment and are brilliant at it. Our brand of the game is unique and as precious as the Caribbean brand that people still rave about. The youngsters will gain invaluable experience and confidence that will stand this Country in good stead for the future.
The seniors seem jaded. They have played too much cricket in the last few years and they have lost the sparkle n their eyes. Dilshan has changed dramatically after the mantle of leadership was thrust on him. Don’t tell me you haven’t noticed! I won’t go into more details of the other individuals but just think about it.
Blaming the selectors and the administrators and pretty much everyone else we can think of will happen anyway but there does not seem to be much that can be done in the short term. By this I mean the next 3 tours. What should have been a cricket fest for the discerning Sri Lanka fan now looks like it will be a series of defeats. Let’s go down with our flags flying! Let’s show the world that we play cricket for enjoyment and let’s unleash the exuberance of youth on the cricket fields of the world. Cricket fields that have been jaded by too much money and mind numbing, boring attitudes that come with it.
Who knows our little Island may be responsible for bringing the ZING back into cricket. That unfathomable X factor that used to make watching this great game fun rather than the financial exercise that it has become!
Go Sri Lanka Cricket, let’s make a difference!