How Sri Lanka Cricket is toying with Sri Lanka's cricket

Sri Lanka Cricket

There is a train of thought within the Sri Lanka team that Shanaka has only been made captain because he cut a deal with either the cricket board or its technical advisory committee in agreeing to sign the tour contracts the board was offering. This is after Sri Lanka’s cricketers had spent months defying the contracts on offer. After it was clear that the deadlock between the board and and the players had been broken, but long before SLC officially announced Shanaka’s captaincy, his team-mates knew the announcement was coming. Whatever the exact nature of Shanaka’s relationship with the board, whatever his own motivations, he is now due to lead a team that does not fully believe he is in charge for purely cricketing reasons.

But it is natural for players to be ambitious. Commendable, even. Innumerable sports people across history, have coveted their team’s captaincy. But it is rarer that a governing body acts with such self-serving shortsightedness, that in order to win a contracts dispute, it chooses a course of action that would inevitably sow discord within an already-ailing team. No one can be surprised, though. Diplomacy, tact, basic competence – these have long been imperiled resources among the top brass at the SLC.

This is, after all essentially the same set of administrators that over the last five years, presided over the change of ODI captains from Angelo Mathew to Upul Tharanga (in mid-2017), from Tharanga to Thisara Perera (in late 2017), from Thisara back to Mathews (in early 2018), from Mathews to Dinesh Chandimal (in late 2018), from Chandimal to Lasith Malinga (in early 2019), from Malinga to Dimuth Karunaratne (just ahead of the 2019 World Cup), from Karunaratne to Kusal Perera in early 2019, and now from Kusal to Shanaka…

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