Chief selector and team manager Ashantha de Mel made a startling statement when he said that Sri Lanka players were more relaxed and performed better without a head coach.
“My personal feeling is the main coach whether he is there or not doesn’t make much of a difference. Because of Cricket Board politics whoever is appointed as a coach has a huge amount of pressure on him. From the time he comes he is asked to produce results. Then what happens is he transfers the pressure onto the players. At the moment without a coach the pressure is not there on the players and it is easier for them to play rather than when there is a coach,” De Mel told the Daily News.
So Asantha is attempting to make a long term career for himself at SLC? A professional coach has the skills to ensure the pressure does not filter down to the team. The structure without a head coach has been tried before and failed miserably as there is no one taking overall ownership of a teams performance. This looks like a stupid plan put together by the three stooges… kudu Harin, moron Shammi and the wise crack Asantha. Oh dear, from the frying pan to the fire.
Alright. I have praised Asantha in the past for some of the players he has birthed into the side, but now he is talking absolute rubbish. When we won in SA we had Hathu in charge, when we won in Dubai, we had a head coach too. When won in England in 2014, we had a head coach. Every major test series victory we have had a head coach. Now suddenly, after throwing away the second test against NZ, we do not require a head coach? Such flawed logic.Who is this guy kidding?
If Dimuth and every damn captain since Mahela/ Sanga/ Dily retired could set a field I would agree. But strategy is one clear area where our current crop of players are literally “deer in the headlight.” I am not sure what cricket Asantha has been watching of late, or what bad batch of crack he has been snorting to come up with this type of ridiculous comments. He has seriously compromised his standing as Chief Selector saying this garbage.
What Asantha has said is the only way we can go forward, if we need to improve the standard of cricket in SL, when working with a highly corrupted organisation like SLC. Why do we need a Head Coach like Hathu? Has he done anything good or worthwhile during the last 2 yrs for SL, when our team achieved great success in the recent SA test series, WC 2019(some success), 3 ODI series with BD & Test / T20 series with NZ? Not at all.
SLC hired him in 2017 after the BD team achieved so much of feats under Hathu’s tenure. When he left BD, everyone was expecting that the performance level of BD team would be drastically reduced. Did that happen? Instead they kept on improving. This was proved by their good performance in the recent WC. All good things achieved by BD prior to the departure of Hathu was purely due to their player commitment and not due to the coaching of Hathu.
At Asantha has pointed out at present what SLC need is a Four Skill Coaching System (for batting. fast bowling, spin bowling and fielding). These skill coaches for the National Team must be Internationally reputed past cricketers. Local coaches (to be highly performed SL past cricketers) can be entrusted only for guiding the A Team, Emerging Team as well as Under 19 and so on.
The moment we recruit a local skill coach for the national team, corruption on player selection matters will start, as in SL we can never stop these issues of irregularities taking place on player selections when preferences are given based on a school, a club, a religion or a relative/friend.
Instead of paying a huge salary (as in the case of Hathu) to a Head Coach, what SLC should do is to appoint a Cricket Director / Chairman as done in all other major test playing countries like Australia, England, India, SA & NZ. The Cricket Director should be a Sri Lankan, a reputed past cricketer who is well accepted / respected by the ICC and International Cricket Community. He should be responsible in handling issues such as Player Management, controlling and ensuring the responsibilities of the Skill Coaches with regular monitoring of the target s given / achieved, overall cricket structure in SL etc etc.
A good example for this is India. Dravid is doing a great service to the country in raising the standard of cricket in India.
In my opinion we have three suitable candidates who can hold this Cricket Director’s position. They are Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardena & Aravinda de Silva. If we can get the service of one of these cricketers, we can guarantee that the standard of SL cricket will reach a great level which we haven’t experienced before.
As these cricketers mentioned already have commitments in the International Cricket Circuit (like Mahela working with Mumbai Indians or Kumar taking up a part time assignment as MCC President) SLC must give them the opportunity to continue these assignments which are not on full time basis.
It is to be mentioned that the new Constitution on the Law of Cricket & SLC which is in the stage of approval was drafted / prepared with help of these past cricket Legends of SL (plus Wettimany).