Sri Lanka Cricket barking up the wrong tree

Following a series of setbacks, Sri Lankan cricket fans are on a high after their team completed a 3-0 whitewash of Pakistan in their own backyard last week. Pakistan Cricket Board must be congratulated for putting up a splendid show as the six games in Lahore and Karachi were played in front of packed houses. A nation that has great admiration for the sport is overjoyed as international cricket is gradually returning to the country.

Sri Lanka’s cricketers who were in Pakistan got a first hand experience of what it means to be Donald Trump after they were provided with security that is usually accorded to heads of state.

Statements attributed to the hierarchy of Sri Lanka Cricket on security in Pakistan has left a bitter taste among most people in that country. SLC officials have literally ruled out playing the two match Test series in Pakistan and instead want to go to a neutral venue like UAE. SLC’s grumble is that there is too much security in Pakistan and the players are confined to their hotels and that it is difficult doing that over a longer duration.

One is intrigued. It is the SLC that requested military type security during the team’s stay in Pakistan. When the military takes over, they run it in their own style leaving no stone unturned in protecting the team. PCB has attracted lot of criticism from their own public as roads were closed when the team was on the move inconveniencing the general public.

Furthermore, the Sri Lankan team has been offered several sight seeing visits and off the field activities like playing golf and visiting shopping malls. The team management in return had requested to stay indoors and cancelled even official team dinners hosted by Chief Ministers. Having done all that, it is unfair for SLC to say that it is not ideal for the Test series to be played in Pakistan.

Whatever the reservations SLC had, that should have been conveyed across the table rather than putting them out in public domain.

It is also unfair for SLC to expect them to be hosted in UAE rather than Pakistan. This is Pakistan’s home series and playing at neutral venues is costing PCB an arm and a leg. For a day, the cost of playing in UAE is said to be over 250,000 US$.

Pakistan has been Sri Lanka’s biggest ally when it comes to cricket. As old timers like former Board Secretary Neil Perera says, SLC wouldn’t have got Test status in 1981 if not for the efforts of Abdul Hafeez Kardar, Pakistan’s first ever Test captain and later the President of the cricket board.

Pakistan players generous gesture of coming to Colombo less than a month after the Central Bank bombing in 1996 to play a friendly match alongside several Indian players went a long way in saving Sri Lanka from cricket isolation.

PCB was the first board to send a cricket team to Sri Lanka soon after the Easter Sunday bombings. A week after the April 21st carnage, Pakistan Under-19 team visited the island.

A friendly approach is what is required towards a loyal friend. Not barking up the wrong tree.


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  1. I think SLC should not take unilateral decision on touring Pakistan for test matches without discussing the issue with Govt (Security Personal), Sports Minister, Coaching Staff and the players. In this issue Shammi Silva the SLC president is acting in a weird way. Already he has complained on too much security and called the recent tour as “totally fed up” (see the separate post and my comments on “PK disappointed by the SLC President’s comments”).

    Or the actual reason could be the SLC want to visit UAE instead of Pakistan as t hey missed to do any shopping in Pakistan and UAE is the best place in the world for shopping. (joking but have a doubt also).

  2. It’s not a surprise the way SLC bizzare handling of its activities, even COPE president said SLC have done everything except CRICKET, when proper cricket loving personal with a head not representing SLC these will continue. They are absolutely making a mockery of administration and it’s work at the SLC.
    Hope with the dismissal of the biggest headache of SLC the Sports Minister will appoint a committee of people likes of Sidath Wettumuny, Bandula Warnapura, Roshan Mahanama etc to over look SLC and report back to Sports Minister to SAVE SRI LANKA CRICKET AND IT’S CRICKETERS

  3. The moron Shammi is just ruining all aspects of the game. He has zero understanding of diplomacy as he is nothing but illiterate. Bad enough he is systematically destroying our game but now he is destroying relations we have held over many years with other cricket loving nations. When is this circus going to be halted?

  4. I am no fan of SLC admin or morons who run it but I am not in agreement that we need to go running to Pakistan when no one else is. Yes Pakistan is a great friend and will remain so but what sort of friend shoots at your national cricket team?

    Yes I know Pakistan came to SL in 1996 after the bomb but no one in Sri Lanka was trying shoot the Pakistan cricket team. Let’s not just all throw everything in the pot and pretend they are all the same cos they are not.

    If it’s a financial issue for Pakistan the ICC should step in and Pakistan should show some friendship and gratitude for a SL national team touring Pakistan when no one else is.

  5. The awful gaffe by Shammi is unpardonable which has brought disrepute not only to SLC but to the country. If things were handled diplomatically Pakistan would have given into to play in the UAE after our brave trip for the one dayers.
    Now a new rift has broken out overshadowing all our brave efforts. The best way to overcome this faux pas by for Silva is to step down immediately so that the SLC can withstand pressure from Pakistan. At least as a minimum Sri Lanka should demand to play in Pakistan only after the Bangladesh tour there in January. We have shown our support to Pakistan already now it is the duty of another nation to visit there following which we can consider our Tests.

  6. I read these comments and some friends, might be from India, want to say that Pakistan might have attacked Srilanka players intentionally in 2009.If you are a true friend, then you should visit Pakistan. After 2 months of christurch attacks,Bangladesh board send their u19 team there,where the players narrowly escaped death.So if their is enhanced security given to srilanka players, then their board can easily ask pcb to reduce the secueity. Even ireland cricket CEO said after seeing this security arrangment, there is no excuse to refuse travel to Pakistan and we are awaiting formal invitation from Pcb in next year to tour.

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