Report appeared in The Island Sports column on September 18, 2018 under the heading “World’s most boring cricket team” gives a really distorted unprofessional picture of whole affair pertaining to the recent Asia Cup debacle, picking the least responsible to be blamed most!
True, SL may have faced the worst defeat in history.
But, instead of finding where we critically went wrong and pinpointing the responsible exact culprits to be blamed; for Fielding lapses, counterproductive leadership strategies, playing XI selections & vital opening spot mess-up repeated in both games, as usual, writer Clementine seems to have taken an extra effort to divert all the dirt to some other players (not so favorites of him such as Kusal Perera, Upul Tharanga) not involved in any of those fielding lapses or deep batting dents!
Without directly blaming the players who dropped those vital catches contributing to the Asia Cup debacle, why is he trying to generalize things and name some other players (like Upul Tharanga or Kusal Perer), who were not involved in any of those fielding lapses in ground fielding or catching? This was a clear effort to divert the blame to his not so favorites. Is this approach ethical to a veteran sports writer?
The most startling mislead seen in Rex Clementine’s article was again targeting poor Upul Tharanga.
“ In his last 21 innings in international cricket, Tharanga has managed just one half-century.”
How can any credible sports writer publish such blatantly misleading remarks/ impression in a newspaper, against a productive senior SL Player, to damage his hard earned batting achievements and reputation? As seen in numerous occasions, Rex Clementine seems trying hard to conceal the real culprits directly behind the Asia Cupe early exit! Generating false public opinion based on bogus statistics seems his mode of attack, against an individual player who even topped SL batting averages in just played Asia Cup too, well above the rest of batters as Tharanga did in many series since 2017.!
Asia Cup 2018 SL batting rankings of 6 batters who played both matches:
1) Tharanga – 32 Av
2) Mathews – 19 Av
3) Thisara – 17 Av
4) MDKJ – 14 Av
5) DdeS – 12 Av
6) KMendis – 00 Av
Odi Innings: 21 – Odi Runs: 702 – Batting Av 37 – Strike Rate: 82
100+ scores x ONE (unbeaten 112* Vs Pk) –
50+ scores x Three ( 61 Vs Pk / 95 Vs India / series winning 56 Vs Bangladesh in a final of a triangular series that brought him his 13th MoM award in 2018) .Apart from above 4 x 50+ scores including an unbeaten 112* & a near hundred (95), Tharanga had scored another Couple of near 50 scores ( 48 & 49 vs India) included in his past 21 odi inngs.
The level of distortion & unprofessional approach is unbelievable .! No writer with any ethics would ever try to tarnish a valuable player's hard earned credentials like this.!
Rex Clementine's Concealed his Moratuwa boy, Kusal Mendis! He is the one who had labored to scratch JUST 267 RUNS WASTING 22 ODIs, at a horrible 13.35 AVERAGE in batting – 74 SR. since his last 50 scored in June 2017 Vs BD !!!
Isn't he the one who scored consecutive "Double-DUCKS" to jump start an initial collapse up front, in both vital matches, thanks to our wise decision makers…?
Mr. Clementine seems to have somehow SWAPPED the real Culprit's batting stats with Tharanga's.! He had conveniently picked Tharanga to blame for the SINS of all his favorites, as seen in many occasions, when they doomed matches!
But not a single word of appreciation or acknowledgement ever seen from him & similar few, even in unique efforts such as ; ie
– When UpulT scored 1000+ at 50av going at 90+ Sr from 25 odis in 2017 becoming just only one of the best 3 topped ODI batting in the world.
– Similarly not a word heard, when Upul played the match winning unbeaten 50+ in vital final in triangular series played this year in BD winning the series for SL & becoming player of the match in final.
– When he blasted mighty SA bowlers to score 90 ball 119 @ 32 SR with 11 fours & 7 Sixes to all corners of Capetown, Rex was blind.
Those are only a glimpse of the long list of achievements during the period. If at least a fraction of it achieved by any among his favorites, his sports column headlines would have been instantly decorated with bold headlines.
There goes the credibility of ethical writing and unbiased reporting..! Unfortunately, this is a typical example of the collective humbug criticism tide going on, mostly against poor players blossomed from elsewhere other than the Capital territory! Systematically Implanting utterly false Opinions & spreading baseless allegations against them, to blame for debacles caused by others. Especially at hard times when our International Cricket hits the rock bottom with lots of humiliation, such Scapegoat hunting is the name of this game.
Needless to say how counterproductive this tide is to our ever loving sport in SL. Media people should no better and they have a bigger responsibility and a role to play in a constructive way. Unlike in the past, with internet accesses to everyone, it is no longer possible to fool the general public.
Rex Clementine seems to have gone even further this time by elongating his utterly false, baseless fabrications, demanding Upul Tharanga's head by saying:
" He is a liability on the field. He has been always that and never made an effort to improve…."
His intent is pretty clear from above baseless words, contradicting the truth.!
When was the last time he dropped a catch? In Asia Cup Series the only catch came Upul's way was cleanly taken, while rest of most Grassed them one after the other.?
If anyone closely watched the matches in recent times, Upul Tharanga is one SL player who has immensely improved his ground fielding & catching, as seen with his newly developed solid stroke play around the wicket (especially in the leg side, that added an extra value to his batting), making numerous Sixes & Fours to all corners of the park frequently, as we saw in many occasions recently in internationals & domestic cricket. .This was noted by many commentators, in contrary to Rex Clementine's false allegation!
Here is some solid proof for his Fielding Improvement saw in recent times:
Upul Tharanga had even equaled a SL FIELDING RECORD by taking the Most Number of Catches in a 5-odi series in 2018:
Tharanga's 2 catches in the final (Triangular series played in BD – 2018) – made him taking a TOTAL of SEVEN (7) x CATCHES in this 5 inning series (2 in in final + 1 in 4th Odi, + 3 in 3rd Odi & 1 in 1st odi). This is the HIGHEST Number of catches taken by a SL fielder in a 5-inning ODI series (Only RS Mahanama had acheived a similar fielding record in 1997, 21 yrs ago)..!!!!
Certainly Mr. Rex Clementine owes an apology to Upul Tharanga, Newspaper Readers and SL general public (cricket fans) for such misleading distortions to tarnish & ruin the reputation of assertive players .!