Is there no pride in playing for your country?

I came across the following line in an article published by cricinfo: "playing for a team that appears to regard defeat as an unfortunate inconvenience in the headlong pursuit of money"

It pertained to the Indian cricket team, but it has more than a passing relevance when you look at the shenanigans going on in our team.

These days I am based in close proximity to Australia and if you read between the lines of the Australian press the gist of what they are saying is :

(1) Your best fast bowler (Malinga) is in Australia playing for money and your country is losing Test matches.

(2) You are a bunch of “whingers” complaining about ball tampering when you knew you were going to lose the match. That matter has been totally mishandled by the management.

(3) If the Galle wicket was judged substandard what about the Tasmanian surface? Has any complaint been lodged on this?

(4) How do you guys plan to win a Test match without wicket taking bowlers?

All very true I’m afraid. Malinga is taking bushels of wickets in the “big bash”. He has given a statement that he is not worried about not playing for Sri Lanka or words to that effect. Surely if he played a Test match and bowled 10 -15 overs a day (much less than he would bowl in the nets on any given practice day) we would pick up one or two wickets and that would make a huge difference to our team.

Meanwhile he is being studied and videotaped in Australian conditions to the extent that they will know exactly how to play him when he comes into the limited over team. Is this the type of handling of players that Sri Lanka cricket is doing? Are they simply falling into the hands of the opposition?

This is the time for political interference! To hell with Logat and his report. Ask the president to intervene and speak to Malinga after all it was the President’s physician who treated him for his injury!

As for the rest of the bowlers it is only Herath who is being flogged in a manner that reminds me of what was done to the goose that laid the golden egg. No support for him and no bowler who has anything “different” in the side. Injury to him would mean 600 + totals by Australia.

This brings me to the subject of Akila Dhanajaya a much hyped spinner who was compared to the great Muralidaran. Why is he not in the side? Is it that SLC is waiting for him to be videotaped and studied so that when he gets on the scene he will be seen off in style? All these intangible reasons like he is too young and his body isn’t ready etc. if they were applied to Tendulkar, what would have happened?

Everything points to the Sri Lankan team being in Australia just to make up the numbers. We have no plan and no way of winning. We are simply HOPING for the best and meanwhile, giving some deadwood players a nice (highly) paid holiday down under.

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