Sports minister intervenes to allow Sri Lanka cricketer to play in Canada – report

Sri Lanka sports minister Harin Fernando talks to SLC officials

Sri Lanka’s Thisara Perera, who was reportedly denied the opportunity to play in the Global T20 Canada tournament by Sri Lanka Cricket, had turned to Sports Minister Harin Fernando to help overrule the decision by the cricket board and allow the all-rounder to feature in the Canadian T20 competition, according to a report on a Sri Lankan newspaper.

Perera featured for the Montreal Tigers in two matches after missing the start of the tournament due to the bilateral series between Bangladesh and Sri Lanka in July, and appears to have travelled to Toronto only after his national commitments were completed.

Thisara perera on Twitter

Game day 🏏

“Thisara approached the Minister and SLC’s decision was overturned at the drop of a hat,” the Sports Editor of the The Island newspaper Rex Clementine wrote in an article this week. “Now that’s called having a soft corner for a fellow Josephian.”

The report by Clementine did not cite the source of his claim which, if accurate, would highlight another example of political interference by the island’s sports minister, which the International Cricket Council does not allow.

The minister, earlier this month, directed SLC officials in a letter to not utilise Chandika Hathurusingha as head coach for the series against New Zealand.

Perera scored 26 runs and took 3-44 in his two matches for Montreal Tigers in the GT20 Canada tourney, which ended in a tied final between Winnipeg Hawks and Vancouver Knights, and eventually won by Winnipeg Hawks in a one-over eliminator.

Sri Lanka’s next assignment is a two-match home Test series against New Zealand beginning on August 14 in Galle.

Also Read: Fixtures for New Zealand’s 2019 tour of Sri Lanka

© Island Cricket


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  1. Come on guys. Lets face the real facts as genuine cricket fans instead of mud slinging at the sports minister who has taken lots & lots of positive moves within a short period of time for the betterment of the overall cricket standard in SL. If you wear a black glass you will see everything outside as dark.

    Which of the past ministers have taken any action on the following moves which we all know have been pending for a long time but not implemented by the SLC.

    1. Initiate the move to change the SLC constitution which had too many loop holes for the corrupt administrators to manipulate to their own advantages.

    2. Get the expert views solely from our great cricketers like Siddath, Aravinda, Kumar & Mahela in preparing the much needed constitution. It’s in the final stage of getting the Govt approval as we need a very powerful and strong SL Cricket constitution to replace the incompetent and corrupt administrators and utilize the fund received from ICC purely for cricket issues.

    3 Invite Mahela to take over the Head Coach position which in my opinion will be the best thing that can happen in improving the overall standard of cricket.

    4 Taking initiative to change the complete coaching staff where most of them (mostly Sri Lankans) were just enjoying lucrative packages but not producing adequate out put for the salaries they get from SLC ?. Remember all other 9 countries who have taken part in the WC are going to do the same. Why our stupid ” Cricket Fans” and media maroons like Clementine call these acts as “Political Interference” ? Are they so fond of or support the regime of the corrupt Thilanga and his Clan ?

    5 There are many other issues which Harin has initiated to improve the standard of cricket in SL.

    In my opinion Harin is the best Sports Minister we had for a long period of time when compared with the incompetent sports ministers & their work that we experienced in the past. Most of the past ministers did not even have any courage or guts to have a face to face discussion with the ICC chiefs to improve the standard of cricket. They left everything to be decided by the corrupt Thilanga and his incompetent gang which also included some stupid selectors. Even they ruined the WC squad selection by picking 4 non performing players (Jeewan, Milinda, Thisara & Vandersay) and gave the maximum headache to our captain Dimuth who had no other choice to replace any of the remaining 11 players for all 9 matches we played. What a shame on Asantha our chief selector.

    I need to point out one more very important point to our blind cricket fans and specially to Clementine. Please do not bring “school mafia” subject into the minds of other innocent cricket fans.

  2. I need to point out one more very important point to our blind cricket fans and specially to Clementine. Please do not bring this “school mafia” subject into the minds of other innocent cricket fans. Please try to understand the real truth. St Josephs can be credited for producing three of the best cricketers out of the six specialist batsmen in our test team. They are Dimuth (opening), Mathews (no 5) and Roshen (no 6).

    I cannot understand why Harin is blamed for Thisara’s playing in the Canadian T 20 matches . It was Asantha’s poor decision to keep Thisara in the ODI team in spite of his poor form shown even before the WC. He should have been released for outside international T20 or ODI tournaments prior to the WC.

    I cannot see any mistake of Harin as the Sports Minister correcting the biggest “ Player Management Blunder” of the SLC selectors with regard to Thisara.

  3. Susantha I agree with you! The claim is made by a news paper that is owned by same company that owns Divaina that published fake news about the Muslim doctor in Kurunegala and are responsible for the bogus and racist sterilisation story. Rex always makes all kinds of allegations and claims but no proof is ever provided to back it up. He has a bad reputation in Sri Lanka and senior cricket fans do not take him seriously.

  4. Susantha, you are completely right. I believe Harin is far much better person than the used car salesman Horananda Aluthgamage or Horasiri Jayawewa. But only thing I can’t understand and still trying hard to comprehend why on earth he wanted Hathurusinghe removed just before a test series when there is ample time to do so?

  5. Harin requested to change or renegotiate with the whole coaching staff. But SLC discussed with sports minister and they wanted to renegotiate with coaches. May be Hathurusinghe didn’t agree with SLC terms. Otherwise how Romesh Rathnayake is still there. In Rex case, he wants to create issues from no where. In past we have seen journalists complaining sports minister for not interfering for some matters and now the otherwise. And if Harin is supporting fellow Josephian then would have ask SLC to recruit Vaas as Head coach or bowling coach in Sri Lanka team setup which he has not requested. Personally I don’t see any issue in Thisara participating for GlobalT20. It’s an opportunity for him to get some form back and make a case to be eligible for selection for next T20s with NZ. I believe participating and performing in this tournament helped Lasith Malinga also to open the eyes of the selectors.

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